Democrat, Trump-backed candidate win in Ohio's two special House races

Special House races Tuesday night tested the mood of suburban voters

Updated: November 3, 2021 - 1:47pm

Progressive Democrat Shontel Brown was elected Tuesday in northeastern Ohio to fill a vacant House seat, while Trump-endorsed Republican Mike Carey won a vacant seat near Columbus. 

Neither election win, nor any other House election victory Tuesday, will alter the make-up of the House, in which Democrats have a narrow majority. But it gave politicians and Americans alike more insight into how suburban voters are feeling ahead of the 2022 midterm. 

Carey won a race in Ohio's 15th Congressional District, a seat formerly held by Republican Steve Stivers, who gave up the seat to take over the state's Chamber of Commerce.

"The Democratic position has deteriorated substantially since last year," he said Tuesday night. "You’ve had the debacle in Afghanistan, inflation, product shortages, and as a proxy for all of that, the fact that gas prices have skyrocketed."

Carey, a longtime lobbyist for the coal industry, has been a face about Washington for many years. He handily won the 11-way Republican primary for the seat with 37% of the vote. Following his win last night, former President Donald Trump wrote, "I am very proud to have endorsed him early and strongly."

The 15th district connects parts of the heavily Democrat city of Columbus with solidly red rural areas. In 2020, Trump carried the district by 14 points. 

In Florida, a House seat vacated by the passing of Rep. Alcee Hastings is heading to an automatic recount between two Democrats to figure out which of them will advance to the January election as the likely replacement for the late congressman.