WASHINGTON (AP) – Two vacancies in Ohio Congress were filled on Thursday after Republican Mike Carey, a Columbus coal lobbyist, and Democrat Shontel Brown, Democratic leader from Cleveland, were sworn in as members of the House of Representatives after extraordinary elections on Tuesday.
Brown will represent the Cleveland seat vacated by former Democratic Republican Party Marcia Fudge, who resigned to join President Joe Biden’s cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Carey takes the place of former Republican Representative Steve Stivers, who stepped down in April to become CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
“I take this responsibility seriously,” Brown said from the floor of the House of Representatives shortly after she and Carey took the oath together. “I ran for Congress because I believe in the sustainability of the community that I love and call my home.”
Carey paid tribute to his roots in the small town of Sabina, Ohio, and said that “it was humility for him to stand here today to serve in the People’s House.”
Later, Brown, Carey and their families took turns in small talk, posing for photographers with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi against the backdrop of American flags.
Swearing-in ceremonies leave Democrats with a 221-213 lead over Republicans in Congress, with Brown and Carey retaining their respective parties’ seats.
Carey, 50, was backed by former President Donald Trump. In the 15th congressional district, he surpassed two Democratic MPs Allison Russo, a health policy consultant, after the most competitive race in years.
Carey told the celebrators at the victory party on Tuesday: “We have too many professional politicians in Washington. This is the last thing I will ever be. “
Brown, 46, came close to winning in an extremely democratic 11th arrondissement that stretches from Cleveland to Akron, defeating Republican Laverna Gore, a business owner and activist. For Brown, who also heads the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, the real competition was the Democratic primaries, in which she defeated Nina Turner, a former Ohio State Senator who was the main surrogate for Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign. The race caught media attention and spent millions of dollars.
“I am determined to travel to Washington as a unifier and will work with President Biden and Congressional Democratic leaders to ensure that Ohio’s health and economies quickly recover from the pandemic,” Brown said Tuesday.
Both winners will fulfill the remainder of their predecessors’ deadline, which will last until January 2023. They will again be re-elected next year, according to the congressional map, which is being reshaped to keep their seat.