Trump-Backed Ohio Republican Wins Crowded GOP Primary

Mike Carey, a coal industry lobbyist endorsed by former President Donald Trump, defeated 10 opponents in the special Republican primary for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.

The outcome reaffirms Trump’s influence just a week after another candidate Trump backed lost a Republican congressional primary in Texas’ 6th Congressional District.

Tuesday’s result “might signal that, within Ohio, Trump has a certain amount of support that can be leveraged in the governor’s race, the Senate race and other congressional races,” said Kevin Spiker, a political scientist at Ohio University.

Carey’s victory in the heavily Republican district makes him the overwhelming favorite in a special general election in November.

The vast rural district, which encompasses some of Columbus’s suburbs, opened up when then-Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) announced in April that he would be leaving Congress to head the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Carey dispatched with at least four serious candidates: state Sen. Bob Peterson (a farmer endorsed by Ohio Right to Life), state Rep. Jeff LaRe (a suburbanite backed by Stivers), state Sen. Stephanie Kunze, and ultra-right-wing former state Rep. Ron Hood, who was backed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Trump’s super PAC, Make America Great Again Action, spent over $400,000 boosting Carey. Trump also touted his endorsement of Carey at a late June rally in another part of the state.

Carey has featured the footage of Trump praising him in a TV ad. “He’s a wonderful man ― I’ve known him for a long time,” the ad showed Trump saying.

The Club for Growth, a hardline economic libertarian Republican group that has grown increasingly aligned with the Trump wing of the party in recent years, jumped into the race in a way that benefited Trump’s candidate of choice. The conservative group spent more than $300,000 attacking LaRe, Peterson and Kunze for being insufficiently conservative.

Coal industry lobbyist Mike Carey won the Republican nomination in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District thanks to an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

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