Republicans held onto a U.S. House of Representatives seat in the suburbs of Columbus on Tuesday left vacant by former Rep. Steve Stivers, who resigned to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Republican coal lobbyist Mike Carey defeated Democrat State Rep. Allison Russo nearly 58 percent to nearly 42 percent with 90 percent of precincts reporting in Ohio’s 15th congressional district.

One of three congressional contests on Tuesday, the other in a reliably blue district in Cleveland and a primary in Florida, the race in central Ohio drew national attention with a weekend visit from former Vice President Mike Pence. Carey won a crowded primary in August by a comfortable margin as the Donald Trump-endorsed candidate.

On Monday, President Joe Biden attempted to excite turnout with a late endorsement for Russo.

Carey’s win maintains the eight-seat majority Democrats control in the lower chamber, counterbalanced by a Democrat victory in Ohio’s 11th District sending Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown to her first term. Shontel will replace former Democrat Rep. Marcia Fudge, who resigned in March to be Biden’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“I am committed to going to Washington as a unifier, and will work with President Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress to lead a swift health and economic recovery from the pandemic for Ohioans,” Brown said in a statement after defeating Republican business owner Laverne Gore.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel took victory laps on Twitter over Carey’s victory in a far more competitive district, touting the landslide win as a sign of what’s to come heading into next year’s midterms. The party in the White House has historically fared poorly in a new administration’s first cycle.

Tuesday’s results will leave a slim 221-213 majority in the House for Democrats to defend next year.

November 3, 2021 3:30 am

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