In other elections held on Tuesday, former Michigan Democratic state Senate leader Gretchen Whitmer beat Bernie Sanders-backed candidate Abdul El-Sayed to be the Democratic candidate for governor of Michigan.
Voters in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan and Washington state joined those in OH in Tuesday's voting. It is the last congressional special election scheduled before the November midterms.
Republican state Senator Troy Balderson is declaring a victory over Democrat candidate Danny O'Connor tonight in an OH special election race to finish what's left of former Representative Pat Tiberi's congressional term.
The victor will fill the seat previously held by Pat Tiberi, a nine-term incumbent who resigned to take a job with an OH business group. Labor unions' $16 million campaign against the union-busting law was successful despite the Republican-dominated state legislature moving the referendum from November's general election to the lower-turnout August primary.
Republican Troy Balderson is running with Trump's endorsement in a district the president won by 11 points in 2016. At one point in the campaign, Balderson couldn't name a single area of disagreement but since cited differences on tariffs and immigration.
Republicans have pumped money into the race in hopes of avoiding another special election embarrassment. The Democratic candidate, meanwhile, vowed: "We're not stopping now". That's enough for O'Connor to potentially pick up enough votes to force a recount. Flynn, 43, said he didn't care for mudslinging on either side of the campaign.
Republican Troy Balderson led Democrat Danny O'Connor by about 1,700 votes with all precincts reporting, although the OH secretary of state's office said a final result would be delayed until more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots were counted.
"If you have a real blue wave - if you have the sort of wave, the late break that happened in 2006 where Democrats, from this point, they were ahead in the generic ballot, but they gained 6.6 percent between this point in 2006 and the Election Day - that will give the Democrats the Senate", he added. "I want to see someone who's interested in working with the other party so we can actually get something done".
It's unclear how much Trump's support helped or hurt Balderson.
Cory Bliss, executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican-aligned SuperPAC, said: "While we won tonight, this remains a very tough political environment and moving forward, we can not expect to win tough races when our candidate is being outraised". Debbie Stabenow. Trump endorsed James, who also had support from many in the GOP establishment in his race against self-funding venture capitalist Sandy Pensler.
The Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House to gain a majority.
Donald Trump holds rally at OH high school before tight special election
President Donald Trump is arguing that Republicans need to control Congress by casting the midterms as a referendum on himself. Trump is set to hold a rally in OH this weekend for congressional candidate in the state, Troy Balderson.
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The pro-Balderson effort has focused largely on motivating Republican voters by casting O'Connor as extreme. His campaign spent $2.25 million on advertising compared to Balderson's $507,000, according to campaign tallies of ad spending.
"They do everything right and, right now in Washington, D.C., no one has their back", he said.
In Kansas, Republicans were fighting among themselves in an unusual battle for governor in which the president sided with the incumbent's challenger.
Trump endorsed Kobach, Kansas' secretary of state, on Monday.
To win, Balderson will need to unite Republicans who love the president and those who prefer the governor.
With dozens of Republican lawmakers retiring this year, the minority party has a decent chance of taking over the House. He will face incumbent Democratic Sen.
Also in the race: Native American attorney Sharice Davids and former school teacher Tom Niermann.
The stakes were also high Tuesday for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Sen.
The narrow margin will be little comfort for Republicans anxious about the prospect of a Democratic wave heading into the November 6 elections, and it is certain to encourage Democrats who performed dramatically better than expected in a district Republicans have represented since the early 1980s. The field includes Fayrouz Saad, who would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.
But political observers said the fact the race was so close in a district that Democrats have not held since Ronald Reagan was president was notable.
Former Democratic Party legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer will face off in the MI gubernatorial race against Trump ally Bill Schuette. Debbie Stabenow in MI. "He will win BIG in Nov".
Hours before polls opened, Trump again weighed in on Twitter, casting James as "a potential Republican star".