The Columbus Dispatch endorsed Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor (D) over state Sen. Troy Balderson (R). In explaining their reasoning, the editorial board faulted Balderson for his support of President Trump. O’Connor “supports a reasonable, thoughtful approach to addressing the important issues facing Congress and our country,” while Balderson “supports a president who uses tactics and pushes policies that this Editorial Board has denounced.” (Columbus Dispatch)
The newspaper noted that in an interview with Balderon, he found it hard to answer "when asked for examples of times he would have spoken up about" President Trump. Balderson: “No. No. I mean I can, I mean. I just haven’t. You know. I’m running a race, and you know, I am doing everything I can to run a race. You know when I’m in the role or position that I can come out and criticize President Trump if need be, you know, that will be. But I’ll also come out and tell him and advocate for him when he does the right things.”
"O’Connor was asked the opposite question, about times he would have supported Trump. The Democrat cited a sole example, a meeting Trump held with trade union representatives early in his presidency." (Columbus Dispatch)
ON THE AIR. The NRCC and Balderson "are going up with a new broadcast buy in the special election in Ohio's District 12. The buy is from July 10-16 and is at least $108,000, according to Advertising Analytics." (Politico)
FROM THE DISTRICT. O'Connor "and Spenser Stafford got engaged this year and will tie the knot in 2019. The 28-year-old lawyer and lifelong Republican represents the kind of voter O'Connor has to win if he is going to be the latest Democrat to overperform in a special election: White, educated and suburban Republican women who have been turned off by ... Trump. ... Democratic operatives, in both Ohio and Washington, are hoping the race between O'Connor and ... Balderson will shape up to be a redux of" Rep. Conor Lamb's (D-PA 18) "upset victory over" state Rep. Rick Saccone (R) "earlier this year."
"Republicans argue Balderson, who has the backing of retiring Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) and millions in outside funding, is a far better candidate than Saccone. ... There are noticeable similarities between O'Connor and Lamb. Both are white men who represent the more moderate strain of liberalism inside the Democratic Party and are trying to represent districts with a Republican tilt that went for Trump in 2016 by, in part, focusing on the need to replace Nancy Pelosi as leader of House Democrats." (CNN)