Trump-backed energy lobbyist Mike Carey was declared the winner of the Ohio Republican primary Tuesday night.
The victory isn’t only a win for the party but also for the former president. Last week, his candidate Susan Wright lost a special election in Texas to another Republican Jake Ellzey, despite having the endorsement of the former president. The upset sparked some to question of Trump’s popularity and influence within the Republican Party had begun to wane, however, Carey’s victory solidifies that Trump still holds a tight grip on the party.
The Hill reports:
The Associated Press called the race shortly after 9 p.m. ET. Carey led the pack with more than 37 percent of the vote, or just shy of 9,300 ballots cast in his name.
Carey was a virtual unknown before winning Trump’s support and campaigned largely on the former president’s backing. He bested a crowd of roughly a dozen other primary contenders to run for the seat that was vacated by former Rep. Steve Stivers (R), who retired to run the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
After Carey’s win, former President Trump issued a statement congratulating him through his Save America PAC.
“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!” Trump said in a statement.
Carey thanked Trump for his support during his victory speech, emphasizing that it was the former president’s endorsement that propelled him to victory.
“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. I could not be more grateful for his support, and I am proud to deliver this win to advance his America First agenda,” Carey said.
Carey will face off against Democrat state Rep. Allison Russo in November’s general election.