Donald Trump 'still leader of the Republican Party' after victory in Ohio 'kingmaker' contest

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Trump - AP
Trump - AP

Donald Trump claimed victory as his preferred candidate won the Republican nomination to stand for a Congressional seat in Ohio.

Mike Carey, a coal lobbyist, topped a crowded field in an election which had been seen as a crucial test of Mr Trump's kingmaker status in the party.

It came a week after the former president's favoured candidate lost in another Republican primary election in Texas.

That had led to questions about how much influence he continues to wield over the party's rank-and-file.

Following the Ohio result Mr Trump said: "Lo and behold, instead of a loss, there was a landslide victory for Mike - a win far larger than even the most optimistic of polls. It was a great day for Ohio."

He added: "Great Republican win for Mike Carey. Big numbers! Thank you to Ohio and all of our wonderful American patriots."

The election took place in a traditionally Republican area south of Columbus, Ohio.

Mr Carey, a political newcomer, won 37 per cent of the vote, 24 points more than his nearest challenger in a field of nearly a dozen candidates.

He said: "Tonight, Republicans across Ohio's 15th Congressional District sent a clear message to the nation that President Donald J. Trump is, without a doubt, the leader of our party."

Carey - The Columbus Dispatch
Carey - The Columbus Dispatch

An independent fundraising committee backed by Mr Trump had spent over $400,000 on advertising for Mr Carey.

In a Democrat primary election in Ohio's 11th Congressional District, in Cleveland, there was a boost for Joe Biden as a centrist candidate defeated a prominent figure on the left wing of the party.

Shontel Brown, who had emphasised her support for Mr Biden, beat Nina Turner, who had been highly critical of the president.

Ms Turner was co-chair of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, and Mr Sanders endorsed her.

Ms Brown had been endorsed by Hillary Clinton.

Over $6 million had poured into the race as it became a proxy battle for the Democratic party's moderate and liberal wings.

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