Vice President Pence visits Newark to campaign for Troy Balderson

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Vice President Mike Pence was in Licking County Monday to campaign for a two-term Republican state senator who’s in a closer-than-expected race for an open seat for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. It was the second time in two months that Pence has come to central Ohio in support of candidate Troy Balderson.

“The other side talks about this blue wave thing that’s supposed to be coming,” Pence said. “Here in Ohio 12, history will record that the red wave started here.”

Balderson, of Zanesville, is working to retain GOP control of a seat that Republicans have held for nearly 35 years and for most of the past 100 years. U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, a Republican, retired in January after nearly 18 years.

President Donald Trump tweeted his support for Balderson on Friday. 

National Democrats are making a last-minute push for Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor in the contest that national political observers have moved from Republican-favored to a toss-up.

Republicans are working to paint O’Connor as a Pelosi Democrat despite O’Connor repeatedly saying he believes it’s time for new leadership.

“You see Danny O’Connor join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat majority on Capitol Hill and you’re going to have fewer jobs, fewer opportunities, more government and more taxes,” Pence told the crowd of about 200 at the campaign rally.

“But with Troy Balderson, you’re going to have less taxes, more military spending, more border security and more jobs for the people of Ohio. That’s the choice that you face.”

O’Connor reported outraising Balderson in campaign finance reports filed last week.

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