Incumbent Bob Gibbs Re-Elected By 18 Points In Reliably Red 7th District

Democrat Ken Harbaugh stands on a table delivering his concession speech at the Canton Brewing Co
Democrat Ken Harbaugh, a navy veteran, concedes to Republican Bob Gibbs saying, "empathy is the mission." [M.L. Schultze]
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M.L. Schultze

Ohio’s reliably red 7th Congressional District will remain that way, with Republican Bob Gibbs winning his fifth consecutive term despite a well-funded challenge from Democrat Ken Harbaugh. 

Gibbs’ performance didn’t quite match the win Donald Trump chalked up in the 7th two years ago, but his 18-point edge was convincing by any measure. Gibbs said the nation and his district have seen unprecedented economic growth in the last two years, and the nation is “safer and stronger.”

Challenger Ken Harbaugh said it’s too early to talk about running again in 2020, but urged his volunteers to stay involved.

“If you look at the implications for this up-welling of grassroots support, not just for the Ohio 7th, but for the country and 2020, I want you to keep your head in the fight. I want you to keep your spirits up because I sure will,” said Harbaugh.

The Navy veteran who ran a global disaster relief agency, conceded early. Harbaugh said he believes Americans will remain energized in electoral politics and beyond.

“You see the passion of Americans stepping up and wanting some accountability from their leaders, wanting their representatives to work for them,” Harbaugh said. “I think that can happen anywhere.” 

The 7th district stretches from Lorain County south through Tuscarawas County. Most of it is rural, though preliminary results show Harbaugh did narrowly win the largest urban area — a large section of Stark County.

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