a man wearing a suit and tie: Mike Carey speaks at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump after receiving his endorsement on June 26, 2021 in Wellington, Ohio Scott Olson/Getty Images © Scott Olson/Getty Images Mike Carey speaks at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump after receiving his endorsement on June 26, 2021 in Wellington, Ohio Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Mike Carey will win the special primary election for Ohio's 15th District, Decision Desk HQ.
  • Former President Trump has endorsed and campaigned Carey, a coal lobbyist.
  • Polls in Ohio closed at 7:30 pm ET. Follow along for live results.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Mike Carey will win the GOP special primary election to replace former Republican Rep. Steve Stivers in Ohio's 15th District to face Democratic state Rep. Allison Russo in November, Insider and Decision Desk HQ project.

The district encompasses the suburbs and exurbs south of Columbus.

The contenders for the GOP nomination included state Rep. Jeff LaRe, who has been endorsed by Strivers, state Rep. Bob Peterson, state Sen. Stephanie Kunze, minister and former Columbus NAACP President Ruth Edmonds, Hilliard Councilman Omar Tarzai.


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Carey, a coal lobbyist, had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Trump held his first rally since leaving office to campaign for Carey on June 26.

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The special election posed another test of Trump's continued influence over down-ballot GOP races in his post-presidency, Insider's Warren Rojas and Tom LoBianco report.

Read more: Donald Trump's 'golden ticket' is on trial in Ohio, where a special election is again testing his political prowess

Trump's track record of backing winning candidates suffered a blow last week, when his endorsed candidate Susan Wright lost a special runoff election in Texas 6th Congressional District to state Rep. Jake Ellzey. While it can be difficult to draw sweeping conclusions from individual, low-turnout special elections, tonight's results will be another data point to Trump's continued influence over Republican primary voters.

The number of candidates in the field and all the different constituencies at play in the primary made it difficult to discern a clear frontrunner.

"5,000 votes could win this thing, no poll could properly catch the turnout, there's just no way to guess," one Ohio GOP consultant told Insider. "Your guess is as good as mine."

Carey is heavily favored to win the November 2 special general election over Russo in the 15th District, which backed Trump over President Joe Biden by 14 percentage points, 56% to 42%, in 2020.

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