COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Republican Mike Carey defeated Democrat Allison Russo to be the new representative in Congress for Ohio’s 15th District, according to unofficial election results.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial election results have Carey, a coal lobbyist, leading with 92,795 votes (58.4 percent) over Russo, a two-term state representative representing the 24th District in the Ohio House of Representatives, who has 66,030 votes (41.6 percent).
Carey will fill the former seat of Republican Steve Stivers, who left Congress in May to take over as President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
The heavily Republican-leaning district (Donald Trump won the 2020 election here by 14 points) includes portions of Columbus as well as Fairfield, Madison, and Pickaway counties.
Carey was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who said he’s heard “all good” things about Carey. Russo picked up a last-minute endorsement from President Joe Biden on Monday.
“There are some fundamental things we have to do in this country and we, as Republicans, have to stand up,” Carey said during a victory speech Tuesday night. “What we did tonight is give Nancy Pelosi a wake-up call that her days as speaker are coming to an end.”
Carey added that there are too many career politicians in Washington and that he won’t be one of them.
During a concession speech Tuesday night, Russo said Ohio deserves more leaders in Congress who will take on the tough fights and who will deliver for Ohio’s working families.
“We must continue to advocate for workers’ rights, to push for affordable healthcare, to fight to protect the right to vote, and to root out the corruption that is robbing our Ohio families of their hard-earned money,” she said.
Carey will serve out the remainder of Stivers’ term, and face reelection next year. Stivers served in the seat for 10 years.
Carey’s victory, as well as that of Democrat Shontel Brown in the 11th District, will not affect the political makeup of Ohio’s Congressional representation. Both are filling seats previously held by members of their own party.
The hotly contested race featured several back-and-forth attack ads by both candidates, but no official debates as both sides could not agree to terms for such a forum.
All election results are considered unofficial until certified by the Ohio Secretary of State, usually about two weeks after election day.
Russo spent part of Election Day at a polling place in Schiller Park.
“Well, I’m feeling good,” she said. “I definitely think there is a lot of energy. We’ve seen a steady stream of voters at most of the polling locations that I’ve been to, so I think there is a bit of enthusiasm that’s being driven not only by this race but also some of the local elections as well.”
When asked for an interview before polls closed, Carey’s campaign declined.