8/4 update: After receiving support from Former President Donald Trump, coal lobbyist Mike Carey won Tuesday’s special Republican primary in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. In the state’s 11th district, centrist Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown defeated progressive Nina Turner and others in the Democratic special primary.
Two special congressional primaries in Ohio set for Tuesday could shed light on former President Donald Trump’s level of control over the Republican Party, as well as where the perennial swing state stands in the battle between progressive and centrist Democrats.
In Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, 11 Republicans are looking to be the party’s ticket in a special election in November. The seat was vacated Republican Steve Stivers back in May.
Former President Trump has thrown his weight behind coal lobbyist Mike Carey in the primary. The “Make America Great Again” super PAC purchased $300,000 in Ohio television advertising for Casey.
He faces a formidable lineup, including three current state lawmakers: state Sens. Bob Peterson and Stephanie Kunze and state Rep. Jeff LaRe. LaRe is backed by Stivers, who held the seat for a decade. Meanwhile former state Rep. Ron Hood has generous support from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s political action committee.
In backing Casey, Trump is looking to avoid having his second endorsee lose in as many weeks. Last week, Jake Ellzey won a special congressional election runoff for Texas’ 6th district. He beat Susan Wright, the widow of the late Rep. Ron Wright. Trump backed Wright from the start and had made one last attempt to give her a boost with a telephone rally the night before the runoff.
The winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary will take on either state Rep. Allison Russo, a health policy expert, or Greg Betts, a former Army officer and decorated combat veteran.
Meanwhile in Ohio’s 11th district, Democrats are looking to fill the seat of Rep. Marcia Fudge. She was appointed as President Joe Biden’s housing chief in March.
Former state Sen. Nina Turner is the best known among 13 Democrats running in the primary. A leading national voice for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns, Turner is the choice of Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others.
She is facing Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown, a centrist backed by Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
Community activist Laverne Gore faces Felicia Ross, a self-described “Jane of all trades,” in the Republican primary.