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Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race

Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race
© Greg Nash

Republican Carol Miller won the House race in West Virginia’s 3rd District, fending off an unexpectedly tough Democratic challenge in an area that overwhelming backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Cohen: I pray Michelle Obama's words will unite country again Michelle Obama: ‘I stopped even trying to smile’ during Trump’s inauguration Trump wants to end federal relief money for Puerto Rico: report MORE.

Miller, a state delegate, edged out Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda in the race to replace ex-Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsRepublican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Jenkins resigns from House, is sworn in on W.Va. Supreme Court MORE (R), who unsuccessfully ran for Senate. Trump carried the rural southwestern district by a whopping 49 points in 2016.

The deep-red district with coal mining roots wasn’t initially seen as competitive, but Ojeda, who voted for Trump, helped put the seat into play as Democrats sought to expand the House battlefield.

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Miller, the daughter of a late Ohio congressman who vowed to support the coal industry and strengthen border security, got a last-minute boost from several White House officials as well as an appearance with Trump at a West Virginia campaign rally.

Ojeda, a retired Army major, played up his military service as well as support for coal miners. He was eventually added to the national Democrats' "Red to Blue" list and got some outside help.