By Zachary Stieber
Candidates backed by former President Donald Trump and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) appear to be headed to Congress after winning primaries in special elections for two vacant House seats representing Ohio.
Mike Carey, a former coal executive, easily toppled a crowded field, taking more than 18,600 votes, according to a preliminary vote count late on Aug. 3.
State Rep. Jeff LaRe, backed by former Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who vacated the seat earlier this year, was in second but had managed only 6,724 votes.
Carey won the Republican primary, but is expected to win the general election for the seat, which represents the 15th Congressional District.
“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 said that Republican voters “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,” he said.
In the Democrat primary for the other vacant congressional seat, Shontel Brown topped former state Sen. Nina Turner.
Brown, chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, was backed by Clyburn, while Turner had received support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
The preliminary count showed a close race: Brown had 37,666 votes to Turner’s 33,420.
No other candidate received more than 1,400 votes.
The primary was for an election to fill a seat left vacant when former Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) left to join President Joe Biden’s administration.
Brown thanked voters, volunteers, and donors.
“Let’s get to work!” she said late on Aug. 3.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also weighed in on the apparent win.
“In Shontel Brown, a proud daughter of Cleveland, voters from the 11th Congressional District of Ohio elected a strong advocate for working families and a fervent voice for strengthened civil rights in America,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Shontel’s strong experience in local government will be essential to our Caucus as we fight to Build Back Better from the pandemic. House Democrats and I congratulate Shontel Brown on a hard-fought victory and look forward to working with her come November.”