Mike Johnson picks Derek Merrin in Republican primary to face Marcy Kaptur for Ohio House seat

Speaker Mike Johnson has endorsed GOP state Rep. Derek Merrin in his bid to oust longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur from her northwest Ohio seat, taking sides in a contentious Republican primary.

“Derek is a proven conservative and demonstrated leader with a backbone who will prioritize economic growth, safer communities, and America First policies,” Johnson said in a statement.

Merrin was a last-minute recruiting win for Republicans left reeling after their initially preferred candidate, Craig Riedel, was caught on tape bashing former President Donald Trump. The other Republican in the race, 2022 nominee J.R. Majewski, lost badly to Kaptur after being accused of misrepresenting his military service record.