Two of Donald Trump’s staunchest allies are lining up against his favored candidate in an upcoming Ohio special election, angering some of the former president's advisers and testing his ability to exert dominance over high-profile Republican primaries.
Trump last month announced his support for Mike Carey, a former energy lobbyist running for a vacant Columbus-area congressional seat. But Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is bolstering former state Rep. Ron Hood in the Republican primary, while Debbie Meadows, a prominent conservative activist and the wife of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is promoting church leader Ruth Edmonds.
Their intervention has rankled some senior Trump advisers, who regard it as act of disloyalty — and one that could lead to an embarrassing defeat for the former president, who has put his name on the line by getting involved. A late infusion of cash from groups aligned with Paul and Meadows, they worry, could complicate Carey’s prospects in the Aug. 3 contest, given that he is already at a financial disadvantage...
“Organizations that endorse candidates against the president’s endorsement do so at their own peril and, like the Democrats, will fail,” said former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a prominent Carey supporter and an informal adviser. “But it will be remembered.”