With all-out support from Donald Trump, Ohio Coal Association President Mike Carey emerged triumphant in an 11-candidate Republican House primary in the Columbus-based 15th District.
With near-final results in, Carey had 37% of the vote, followed by party establishment choice State Rep. Jeff LaRe (13.3%), former state Rep. Ron Hood (13.2%), and minister Ruth Edmonds (10%).
Carey's victory was not only a big one for Trump but a sharp blow to the all-powerful GOP establishment in Franklin County (Columbus). For all but two years since 1966, the district has been in Republican hands, and its GOP U.S. representative has always been the favorite of the party organization.
In resigning from Congress earlier this year to become head of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, former Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, gave his strong blessing to LaRe. Moreover, Stivers took the unusual step of deploying more than $300,000 from his leftover campaign funds for an independent effort on LaRe's behalf.
But his efforts were clearly "Trumped."
At his June 8 rally in Wellington, Ohio (which is outside the boundaries of the 15th District), the former president introduced Carey, invited him to speak at the rally, and gave a strong endorsement.
Last week, Trump's own Save America Political Action Committee (headed by 2016 Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski) launched a $400,000 independent effort to turn out support for Carey.
The theme of this effort, as well as Carey's own campaign was the coal lobbyist was the Trump man in the race and the candidate of the 45th president.
For Trump himself, the outcome in the primary (which is tantamount to election in the 15th District) was a major "booster" shot. Coming one week after Trump-endorsed Susan Wright lost the run-off in the Texas-6 special election, the victory of Mike Carey was strong evidence the former president still packs a punch.
It is now a foregone conclusion his endorsement will be eagerly sought out by Republican office-seekers nationwide.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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