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Trump-backed Republican aims to promote "America-First agenda" in 15th District run

Chillicothe Gazette logo Chillicothe Gazette 7/14/2021 Justin Reutter, Chillicothe Gazette
a man smiling for the camera: Mike Carey is running to replace Steve Stivers in Ohio's 15th Congressional District. © Mike Carey Campaign Mike Carey is running to replace Steve Stivers in Ohio's 15th Congressional District.

COLUMBUS-  Long-time coal lobbyist and executive Mike Carey brands himself a "political outsider" having never held political office before his run for congress. 

The candidate, who has the endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump, is running for Ohio's 15th Congressional District to replace Rep. Steve Stivers, who stepped aside in May to run the state's Chamber of Commerce. 

Carey said he has fought a "radical left" agenda in his 25 years in the energy industry.

"I worked in a period where we went from 1.2 billion tons of coal production to somewhere around 475 million. I've been called upon to testify in U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, multiple state legislatures about what the left is trying to do to this industry," said Carey. "What I have seen coming out of this administration, out of the house and senate now scares me, they are trying to do it to every single facet of America that we love." 

Carey said he is running because he believes there are "too many career politicians in Washington."

"They like to go there, they like to do a lot of talking, but they don't get things done," said Carey. "As a constitutional conservative Republican, it fell on me to serve our country and go fight for this race so we can take back our country, and take back America. I believe I am best suited for this primary." 

During his time in office, he says, his biggest goals are cutting extra unemployment benefits related to the pandemic that he believes are "keeping people from going back to work" as well as otherwise cutting back "irresponsible" spending and passing a balanced budget amendment requiring the federal government to have a balanced budget; increasing border security with methods such as finishing the border wall and reinforcing the border with more law enforcement personnel; and fighting for Trump's "America First Agenda."

Carey also said that he would fight hard to ensure that Democratic President Joe Biden would not win a second term, and while stopping short of supporting conspiracy theories spread by Donald Trump after his election loss in November 2020 regarding alleged voter fraud, said that he supported stricter voting laws for certain states.

"I think we need to have the standards we have in Ohio, Florida, some other states in all states," he said. "In Ohio, you have to request an absentee ballot, you have to show an ID when you go in and vote. There shouldn't be anything controversial about that, you have to show an ID to get a fishing license, you should be able to show an ID when you go in and vote — if every state adopted what Ohio did, I don't think there would be any question about this election." 

While Carey was endorsed by Trump, former Rep. Stivers endorsed State Rep. Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) setting up a proxy war in the district over whether the GOP will go along with Trump or distance themselves from him. 

Carey said Trump endorsed him because he has had a relationship with the former president since 2016, working with him on his race, supporting his efforts within the Department of the Interior, Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency. 

Carey said he met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York when he decided to run for the seat. "He just looked at me, and said, Mike, why do you want to do this thing? And I said, Mr. President, you inspired me to do something like you did," said Carey. 

A 10-minute conversation turned into an hour and 20, said Carey and Trump pledged his full support to Carey's campaign. 

"He will be a courageous fighter for the people and our economy, is strong on the Border, and tough on crime," Trump said in a statement last month. " As a Veteran, he totally supports our Military and his fellow Vets. A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Mike will do an outstanding job in Congress."

Carey is a veteran of the Army National Guard, serving as an officer from 1989 to 1999. 

The crowded Republican primary is scheduled for August 3, 2020, with three main candidates leading in media and endorsements — State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Courthouse), State Rep. Jeff LaRe, and Carey. Also in the Republican primary are John Adams, Eric M. Clark, Thad Cooperridder, Ruth Edmonds, Ron Hood, Tom Hwang, Stephanie Kunze, and Omar Tarazi.

Democrats Allison Russo and Greg Betts are running on the Democratic side of the race. 

The general election will occur on November 2, 2021. 

"If voters want a fighter that's somebody who's a Trump conservative who's not a politician but has been in the line of fire in the energy industry for the last 25 years pushing back on the left- wing agenda, I'd be honored to have their support," said Carey. 

Questions, comments, or story tips? Contact Justin at Jreutterma@Gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @jayreutter1. 

This article originally appeared on Chillicothe Gazette: Trump-backed Republican aims to promote "America-First agenda" in 15th District run

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