Troy Balderson looks to defend his seat against Democrat Alaina Shearer in Ohio's 12th Congressional District

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  • GOP Rep. Troy Balderson will face Democratic challenger Alaina Shearer to represent Ohio's 12th Congressional District in the House.
  • The district is located in central Ohio outside of Columbus and is home to all of Delaware, Morrow, and Licking counties, as well as parts of Franklin, Marion, Richland, and Muskingum counties.
  • Balderson is finishing his first full term in office after being elected in a 2018 special election.
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After finishing his first full term, GOP Rep. Troy Balderson looks to defend his House seat against Democratic challenger Alaina Shearer.

The candidates

Balderson is a former state senator and state representative in Ohio, positions he held for 12 years in total. He was first elected to the US House of Representatives in a high-profile 2018 special election held after former Rep. Pat Tiberi announced his resignation from office to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. 

In the special election, Balderson defeated Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor by just 0.8 percentage points. He later defeated O'Connor in the 2018 midterm election by 4.2 percentage points. In Congress, Balderson serves on the Committees on Science, Space & Technology, Small Business, and Transportation & Infrastructure. 

Shearer, Balderson's Democratic challenger, is a former radio reporter and news anchor and winner of two Associated Press awards. She is the founder of a small business which connects women in digital media, now known as Together Digital. Shearer is running her campaign on growing small businesses in Ohio, supporting the passage of the Equality Act, and legalizing marijuana.

A recent internal poll conducted for Shearer's campaign by Public Policy Polling from October 14-15 found Balderson leading Shearer by four points, 48% to 44%, among registered voters.

The district

Ohio's 12th Congressional District is located in the central region of the state outside of the city of Columbus and is home to all of Delaware, Morrow, and Licking counties, as well as parts of Franklin, Marion, Richland, and Muskingum counties.

For the 2016 presidential election, the 12th District voted for now-President Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by nine points, 53% to 42%, according to Daily Kos.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Balderson has raised over $1.9 million, spent over $1.3 million, and has over $654,000 in cash on hand while Shearer has raised over $915,000, spent a little over $776,000, and has $138,000 in cash on hand. 

What some of the experts say

The race between Balderson and Shearer is rated as "safe Republican" by Inside Elections and "likely Republican" by the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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