The GOP primary fight brewing in Ohio tests Trump's influence on the party

The GOP primary fight brewing in Ohio tests Trump's influence on the party
President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at a September 11th Pentagon Observance Ceremony Wednesday, Sep.11, 2019, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
Trump

A political sparring match in Ohio is projected to indicate how much of an influence former President Donald Trump still has over the Republican Party. On Tuesday, August 3, residents will participate in a Republican primary to fill a vacant Congressional seat. The race in Ohio comes just one week after a Trump-backed political candidate was defeated in Texas.

While Trump is known for maintaining an air of confidence publicly, things are reportedly quite different behind closed doors, according to The Washington Post. Individuals with knowledge of private conversations have revealed there are serious concerns among the president's advisors.

Following the defeat of Susan Wright, the candidate in Texas that Trump backed to replace her husband Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas), the former president's advisors expressed concern about the defeat as it may indicate that his influence is slipping.

In an effort to do damage control and avoid back-to-back defeat, Trump abruptly pivoted to throw support behind coal lobbyist Mike Carey, his desired candidate for the Ohio primary. Last week, a Trump-inspired Super PAC made a last-minute investment of $350,000 to send out a flurry of text messages and political ads.

Trump also released a statement making it clear which candidate he supports in the GOP primary. Although a number of political candidates have claimed they have the support of the former president, he released his statement to point out exactly who he supports.

"Numerous candidates in the Great State of Ohio, running in Congressional District 15, are saying that I am supporting them, when in actuality, I don't know them, and don't even know who they are," Trump said in a statement released last week. "But I do know who Mike Carey is — I know a lot about him, and it is all good. Mike Carey is the only one who has my Endorsement and he's the one I feel will do the best job for Ohio, and for the United States. Please vote for Mike Carey next Tuesday, and let there be no further doubt who I have Endorsed!"

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