Trump is panic-spending in Ohio race to prove he can play kingmaker
President Donald Trump. (Official White House photograph)

Donald Trump is investing big in last-minute efforts to win a GOP primary for a congressional seat in Ohio.

In May, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) resigned his seat to become president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The resignation created a special election in the Ohio's 15th congressional district, which is spread throughout the area south of Columbus.

Trump is backing coal industry lobbyist Mike Carey, though there are other candidates strong Republican bona fides. Here's how the HuffPost described on of the GOP congressional hopefuls.

"Ohio state Sen. Bob Peterson (R), one of 11 candidates running to succeed recently retired Rep. Steve Stivers in a special Republican primary on Tuesday, comes out of conservative central casting," HuffPost reported. "An eighth-generation corn and soybean farmer from Washington Court House who won his seat in the legislature during the 2010 Tea Party wave, Peterson has a near perfect voting score from the American Conservative Union and the endorsement of the influential anti-abortion group, Ohio Right to Life."

Although state senators often have a leg up in open congressional races, as their districts the next largest in size in every state but California, Peterson is lacking one thing: the endorsement from Trump.

Rep. Jeff LaRe, who is backed by the retiring Stivers, is also lacking Trump's endorsement. The same is true for former state Rep. Ron Hood, who is backed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

With eleven candidates running in Tuesday's GOP primary and no public polling on the race, Trump is spending big prove he is still a powerhouse in GOP primaries.

On Thursday, Trump's Make America Great Again Action, Inc political action committee spent an additional $54,000 on SMS text messages and $11,800 on a last minute email program.

That came one day after Trump's PAC announced spending $306,281 on last minute TV ads and $7,800 on text messages.

Trump's PAC has now invested $413,881 to win the GOP primary in a district he carried by 14% points in 2020 and 15% points in 2016.

"Regardless of the outcome, most observers agree that the race is another test of how much influence Trump retains in Republican primaries," HuffPost reported. "If Carey wins on Tuesday, it would suggest that Trump is still a kingmaker in Republican primaries in Ohio — and his victory would be a poor omen for Vance in particular."

Trump's heavy spending in Ohio's fifteenth congressional district was reported after state Rep. Jake Ellzey beat trump backed candidate Susan Wright in a major upset in the GOP primary for a special election in Texas on Tuesday.

Read the full report.