Trump Big Winner, Progressives Big Losers in Twin Ohio Congressional Primaries
While he didn’t run himself, by association, former President Donald Trump was one of the winners at a GOP primary as the candidate he supported won in the special House election for the 15th Congressional District of Ohio on Tuesday.
Mike Carey, the candidate Trump supported, said on Tuesday that his win in Ohio’ 15th Congressional District is a clear indication that the former president is “without a doubt” the leader of the Republican Party.
He then expressed his gratitude for the former president’s endorsement and said he felt proud to “deliver this win” to move Trump’s “America First” agenda forward.
Carey won by gaining 37% of the vote, per unofficial results. He was far ahead of the other 10 Republicans who ran in the district, which included Columbus and its suburbs, as well as other cities, towns, and rural neighborhoods in central and southern Ohio.
With this win, Carey now becomes the front-runner in the general election happening in November. That election is meant to fill a seat left vacant by GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, who stepped down last May to become the Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO.
During the 2016 presidential election, Trump carried the said district by 15 points. Meanwhile, last November, he carried it by 14 points.
Ohio Win Grabs National Interest Following Defeat of Trump-backed Candidate in Texas
Carey’s win grabbed the nation’s interest following an electoral setback that happened in Texas last week. In the said state, the former president endorsed Susan Wright during a special all-Republican House election run in the 6th Congressional District. Unfortunately, Wright was bested in that race.
In an effort to prevent a second defeat of a candidate Trump has backed – and to prevent stories questioning Trump’s influence over the GOP – the former president and his team made an effort to aggressively support Carey.
In doing so, Trump headline a tele-rally for the Ohio candidate on the eve of the primary. The said event on Monday night became his second event of that nature for Carey in the past two weeks.
The former president also criticized candidates going against Carey in the race. In a statement last week, Trump said: “numerous candidates in the great State of Ohio, running in Congressional District 15, are saying that I am supporting them, when in actuality, I don’t know them, and don’t even know who they are…Please vote for Mike Carey next Tuesday, and let there be no further doubt who I have Endorsed!”
What’s more, Make America Great Again Action spent about $350,000 for commercials that supported Carey in the last few days of the Ohio campaign. This is more than double the money they spent in the Texas election, per AdImpact, a national ad tracking company.
The former president continues to be extremely popular among Republican voters. His influence remains strong even six months after leaving the White House.
The runoff in Texas last week became somewhat of a referendum for Trump, as both Wright and Jake Ellzey, who won the race, strongly support the “America First” agenda. Ellzey’s victory in a low turnout triggered a lot of stories that question whether Trump’s influence among the GOP was starting to wane.
Prior to his victory, to make up for not having the former President’s endorsement, Ellzey worked extensively in fundraising and sought the support of popular Texas Republicans, such as former Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and former Gov. Rick Perry.
Back in Ohio, several of Carey’s rivals also had the support of well-known Republican Party members.
In Ohio, some of Carey’s GOP rivals were also being supported by well-known Republicans.
State Rep. Jeff LaRe received the support of Stivers, who had the seat for a decade. Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky gave his support to former Rep. Ron Hood.
Progressive Democrats Lose to Candidate Backed By Party’s Establishment
Meanwhile, progressive Democrats came out as losers in the Democratic primary election for an empty House seat in the state’s 11th Congressional District. The popular contender they endorsed was beaten by a candidate backed by the party’s establishment as well as the Congressional Black Caucus.
Shontel Brown, a councilwoman from Cuyahoga County, won the Democratic primary, beating former state Sen. Nina Turner. Brown’s victory is seen by many as a win for the Democratic establishment over its left-wing counterpart.
Many progressives all over the nation backed Turner for this race, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. However, these were not enough to clinch her the victory in Tuesday’s election.
On the other hand, Brown has received the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus. She also received support from several high-profile Democrats including former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn.
With this win, Brown has become the favorite to win the general election in the Democratic-leaning district, which includes large parts of Cleveland, the said city’s suburbs in the east and south, as well as areas of Akron. Brown would fill the seat of Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who stepped down earlier this year after becoming the Biden administration’s Housing and Urban Development secretary.