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Saturday December 15th, 2018 3:44PM

Trump returning to Ohio to rally Republican voters

By The Associated Press
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CINCINNATI (AP) — President Donald Trump is returning to Ohio to try to boost GOP candidates in a Republican-dominated area.

Trump will headline a Friday evening rally at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, northeast of Cincinnati. The county is a GOP stronghold, and Trump won two out of every three votes there in 2016 as he decisively carried Ohio.

The Warren County Sheriff's Office is warning drivers to expect heavy traffic and road closures in the city of 21,000. The Lebanon High School football team moved up its game against Miamisburg High to Thursday night to ease congestion.

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, a Cincinnati Republican whose district encompasses Warren County, is in a hotly contested race with Democrat Aftab Pureval, the Hamilton County clerk of courts.

Trump's pick for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, Rep. Jim Renacci, is in an uphill battle to unseat two-term U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Democratic former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray are in a tight race to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), a frequent Trump critic who unsuccessfully challenged him for the 2016 presidential nomination.

Former President Barack Obama campaigned for Democratic candidates last month in Cleveland. Obama carried Ohio twice.

Trump was the keynote speaker for a state Republican Party fundraising dinner in Columbus in August, after campaigning earlier in the month for state Sen. Troy Balderson, who narrowly won a special election over Franklin County official Danny O'Connor for Ohio's open 12th Congressional District. The two have a November rematch for a full term.

___

Follow Dan Sewell at http://twitter.com/dansewell

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