Mike Carey, a coal industry lobbyist, won Ohio’s special primary election to replace Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) on the ballot for the upcoming election, following an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, USA Today reports.
A crowded field of GOP contenders raced to fill a vacancy created by Stivers after he accepted a position earlier this year to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Carey’s win will place him on the ballot to face Democratic candidate Rep. Allison Russo on Nov. 2.
Carey’s primary race was being closely watched around the country by officials from both parties, following the loss of a Trump-backed GOP candidate in a special Texas election last month.
A “clear message” sent
“Tonight, Republicans across Ohio’s 15th Congressional District sent a clear message to the nation that President Donald J. Trump is, without a doubt, the leader of our party,” Carey said in a statement.
“I could not be more grateful for his support, and I am proud to deliver this win to advance his America First agenda.”
Tonight, Republicans across #OH15 sent a clear message to the nation that President Trump is, without a doubt, the leader of our party. I could not be more grateful for his support & I am proud to deliver this win to advance his America First agenda…https://t.co/c3Wy0JXLTp pic.twitter.com/qVKTW9OGNV
— Carey For Congress (@MikeCareyOH15) August 4, 2021
A huge win for Trump
Trump wrote in an email following Carey’s victory, “Great Republican win for Mike Carey. Big numbers!”
“Great Republican win for Mike Carey. Big numbers! Thank you to Ohio and all of our wonderful American patriots. Congratulations to Mike and his family. He will never let you down!” – President Donald J. Trump pic.twitter.com/KMnPwDkrHd
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) August 4, 2021
He added, “Thank you to Ohio and all of our wonderful American patriots. Congratulations to Mike and his family. He will never let you down!”
Turnout wasn’t huge
The special election was decided by only a small number of voters. According to USA Today, “A little more than 66,000 votes had been counted between the two primaries with 99% of precincts reporting; about 560,000 voters were registered to vote in the district.”
The numbers should be much higher in November, and given that the district leans Republican, it will be hotly contested by Democrats who see their numbers in the House slowly dwindling as the nation nears the 2022 midterms.
The race also represents renewed momentum for Trump after the surprising loss suffered by Texas GOP candidate Susan Wright, whom he had endorsed. The former president’s role as “kingmaker” is clearly alive and well and Republican candidates will likely line up around the proverbial block for a chance at receiving his public blessing.