Mike Carey led a crowded field of Republicans vying to replace Steve Stivers in the 15th District special election in early, unofficial results Tuesday night.
Carey, a coal lobbyist endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led with about 36% of the 6,529 votes counted by 8 p.m. State Rep. Jeff LaRe was behind him with about 17% of the vote, followed by state Sen. Bob Peterson with about 16% of the vote.
On the Democratic side, state Rep. Allison Russo led retired U.S. Army colonel Greg Betts with about 83% of the 3,212 votes counted by 8 p.m.
The 15th District includes includes Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway and Vinton counties, as well as portions of Athens, Fayette, Franklin and Ross counties.
Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. and turnout was expected to be low for the district with about 560,000 registered voters. Absentee ballots are tabulated first, with results updated on the Ohio secretary of state’s website.
There were 10,537 voters who cast ballots early in-person or by mail and 1,359 absentee ballots were outstanding as of Monday.
The Franklin County board of elections will certify results no later than Aug. 24.
The winner of each primary will face off in the general election Nov. 2. The winner will serve through December 2022.