Mike Carey, former President Donald Trump’s preferred candidate, won the Republican nomination in the primary for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District special election on Tuesday.
The result is a win for the former president, who had the power of his endorsement questioned after backing a losing candidate in a Texas special election last week.
Incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Stivers, elected to the seat in 2010, resigned earlier this year to run the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The rural district south of Columbus is reliably Republican, with Trump winning voters there in 2020 by 14%, according to Daily Kos Elections. Carey is likely to win the Nov. 2 general election.
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The open election prompted a crowded race, with 11 candidates on the Republican side seeking the seat. But the low-turnout nature of primaries in special elections made the races unpredictable.
Trump endorsed Carey, who has never held elected office and billed himself as a “conservative outsider” but was slammed by critics as being the kind of swamp creature Trump claims to oppose. A former Army National Guard officer, Carey went on to be an energy lobbyist and was vice president of government affairs at coal company Murray Energy for eight years.
The primary marks a key test of Trump’s influence among Republican voters. Last week in Texas’s 6th Congressional District special election to replace Republican Rep. Ron Wright, Trump endorsed the late congressman’s widow Susan Wright. However, her opponent, now-Rep. Jake Ellzey, won the runoff, calling into question the power of Trump’s endorsement.
Carey brought in more than $460,000 through July 14, and pro-Trump PAC MAGA Action spent more than $300,000 in radio and TV ads to support him, according to ad firm Medium Buying.
But his competitors also had financial backing. The Conservative Outsiders PAC spent more than $200,000 on ads attacking Carey. Ohio state Sen. Bob Peterson, who racked up a number of local endorsements, raised nearly $556,000 through July 14.
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Stivers endorsed State Rep. Jeff LaRe to replace him, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul endorsed former state Rep. Ron Hood. Protect Freedom PAC, affiliated with allies of Paul, spent more than $678,357 in support of Hood. Another candidate, Tom Hwang, self-funded his campaign with a loan of more than $575,000.
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Tags: News, Donald Trump, Ohio, Congress, Election, Campaigns
Original Author: Emily Brooks
Original Location: Trump pushes Mike Carey to win Ohio special primary in test of influence