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Former President Donald Trump’s pick to replace GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio defeated a large slate of candidates by a wide margin on Tuesday.
Former coal lobbyist Mike Carey captured 37 percent of the vote in the race against 10 other candidates, none of whom landed more than 15 percent.
“One of the biggest stories in the Lamestream Media yesterday was the very important Congressional race in Ohio and whether or not Trump-backed candidate, Mike Carey, would lose against a large and outstanding field of other candidates,” Trump wrote in a statement Wednesday morning. “But lo and behold, instead of a loss, there was a landslide victory for Mike — a win far larger than even the most optimistic polls.”
Carey, the favorite to win in the central Ohio district Trump carried by 14 points last fall, will now face Columbus-area Democrat State Rep. Allison Russo in November to compete for the open seat Stivers left when he retired to run the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Trump’s victory lap comes a week after the former president’s endorsement of Republican Susan Wright, the widow of the late Texas Rep. Ron Wright who lost in a narrow run-off against Republican Texas state Rep. Jake Ellzey. While Wright came in first in the May primary, she only landed nearly 47 percent of the vote while Ellzey won with more than 53 percent in the Dallas-area district last week after the race narrowed to a two-way contest.
Though the Texas runoff last week was seen as a loss for Trump, Ellzey still ran with an embrace of the former president, running ads that featured testimonials of Trump voters who supported Ellzey.
The Republican primary campaigns in Ohio also featured candidates who nearly all ran on pro-Trump messages even in the absence of his endorsement. The campaigns in both Ohio and Texas illustrate the former president’s dominant influence in the party, seven months after leaving the Oval Office.
Trump’s Ohio win dealt another blow to GOP efforts within Washington to sow an inner-party civil war and rid the party of the former president’s grip on the electorate. In Texas, the candidate backed by anti-Trump Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger came in a distant ninth with just more than 2,500 votes in May.
In Cleveland, Hillary Clinton-backed candidate Shontel Brown defeated former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, who won the support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 50 percent to 45 percent. Brown will now face business-owner Laverne Gore in the heavily Democrat district to replace Rep. Marcia Fudge, who left to serve as President Joe Biden’s secretary of housing and urban development.