Pryce Leads Very Close Race in 15th Ohio District

Rep. Deborah Pryce
Rep. Deborah Pryce

In a race that is too close to call Tuesday night, the 15th congressional candidates hold their breath as absentee and provisional ballots are counted. Incumbent U-S Congresswoman Deborah Pryce remains optimistic she’ll retain her seat. While her democratic opponent Mary Jo Kilroy refuses to concede just yet.

After what was considered an extraordinary night for state and national democrats, the race for the 15th congressional seat had not been called. At midnight, US Congresswoman Deborah Pryce was ahead of her democratic challenger by about two percentage points. But there were still several precincts in rural Franklin County not turned in, and about 30,000 absentee and provisional ballots not counted.

US Congresswoman Deborah Pryce did not make an acceptance speech, but was hopeful she’ll return to the House to serve her 8th term.

“My mindset is very positive. I think that we have this race won,” Pryce said.

Her democratic challenger, Mary Jo Kilroy, never took the stage to address her supporters about the neck and neck race Tuesday night. Instead, her campaign manager Scott Kozar made a brief statement to a few reporters.

“This race is not over and the people of central Ohio deserve to have every vote counted,” Kozar said.

Kozar said the race was extremely close because central Ohioans want change. And Kozar thinks Kilroy will win the 15th congressional seat.

“Like I said there’s 20,000 outstanding vote-by-mails, 10,000 provisional ballots. And when this is all said and done Mary Jo Kilroy is going to Congress,” Kozar said.

When asked what Kilroy will do if she does not win the race, Kozar was resolute.

“As I said, there’s 20,000 vote-by-mails, 10,000 provisional ballots, and when this is all said and done, and after the people of central Ohio have every single vote counted, Mary Jo’s going to congress,” Kozar said.

Pryce said she visited the 15th district counties, Franklin, Union and Madison, numerous times, and Pryce pointed out where she thinks the Kilroy campaign went wrong.

“We visited all three counties so many times, and I think that’s what my opponent did wrong. I mean, she didn’t even visit with the newspaper editor in Union County. And when you lose an entire county like that, shame on them. That was just a big campaign mistake that they made,” Pryce said.

Pryce’s campaign manager, George Rasley, attributed much of their success to what he calls micro targeting. Rasley said in the last several days campaign volunteers contacted thousands of people reminding them to go vote.

“We have a universe of individual voters that we have been communicating with for the entire campaign cycle. And if everyone who said they were going to vote for Deborah Pryce, showed up and voted, we win, simple as that,” Rasley said.

It could be days before we know which candidate will be headed to Washington.

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