Another Republican who backed Trump’s impeachment admits defeat

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican who voted for impeachment donald trump on his role in the riot of January 6, conceded on Tuesday to a challenger supported by the former president.

NBC News has yet to screen the second candidate who will advance the general election in the state’s 3rd congressional district. As it stands, the top two voters who under state election rules would qualify for the general election are Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Trump-endorsed Republican Joe Kent.

Beutler conceded his race Tuesday night in a statement that did not mention Kent by name.

“Although my campaign failed this time around, I am proud of all we have achieved together for the place where I grew up and where I still call home,” she said. “Serving you in the United States Congress for the past twelve years has been the honor of my life.”

Beutler’s concession means two of the three House Republicans on the ballot last week who backed Trump’s impeachment lost to candidates he endorsed: Rep. Peter Meijer fell to John Gibbs in Michigan’s less than 4 percentage points, while Rep. Dan Newhouse pushed back Trump-backed challenger Loren Culp in Washington by more than 4 points.

While those other two races were called last week, Beutler’s race lingered. She led Kent for much of the vote count before falling behind on Monday.

In Washington state, the two leading voters, regardless of party affiliation, move on to the November general election, a setup that gave Newhouse and Beutler a better chance to advance than their fellow supporters of the impeachment in more traditional party primaries. Yet only Newhouse survived.

Contests in Washington and Michigan were the latest indicators of Trump’s influence in the party. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming is the last impeachment supporter who has yet to face voters in a primary this election cycle. Cheney, the vice chairman of the House committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 riot and Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election, encountered particularly strong headwinds at home. Its primary is scheduled for August 16.

“Knock out Impeachment Slime Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Peter Meijer, TODAY”, Trump job to his Truth Social platform last week ahead of their primaries. “The others, including the now disgraced RINO, Liz Cheney, are either gone or soon will be.”

On Tuesday evening, Trump congratulated Kent.

“Joe Kent has just won an incredible race against all odds in Washington State,” Trump said in a statement. “Importantly, he eliminated another impeacher, Jaime Herrera Beutler, who so stupidly played into the hands of the Democrats.”

Many impeachment colleagues of Beutler and Cheney on the right will not return to Congress next year. In June, Representative Tom Rice of South Carolina succumbed to a Trump-backed challenger, while Representatives Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois all opted to retire at the end of term rather than seek re-election.

Newhouse, meanwhile, joins GOP Rep. David Valadao of California as the only other impeachment supporter to survive a primary challenge. Like Washington, California uses a similar primary system, and Trump has not endorsed a challenger in Valadao.

Like other impeachment supporters, Meijer, Beutler and Newhouse had outstripped their rivals. Federal campaign finance records show Meijer passed Gibbs in the 3rd Congressional District by more than $2 million. Meijer raised $2.77 million through mid-July, while Gibbs’ loot totaled $484,000.

In Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, Beutler passed Kent by about $1.3 million, with Beutler bringing in $3.5 million and Kent $2.2 million in mid-July.

And in the state’s 4th congressional district, Newhouse raised about $1.6 million, compared to Culp’s $310,000 midway through last month.

Ahead of the Aug. 2 primary, Caleb Heimlich, the Washington state Republican Party chairman, told NBC News he’d heard people on the ground and during campaigns say the races were “very, very competitive in both districts”.

He noted that in the Beutler district, around $2.5 million outside independent spending came in for the final two-week sprint of the race, much of it aimed at tearing down Kent or boosting Heidi St. John, a Republican who was also campaigning on a pro-Trump message.

“With no closed primary, you just have a different electorate,” he said. “And so, there are different factors that play into this campaign. And you have to compete with all the voters in the district.

The GOP incumbents who backed the impeachment all serve different terms in their districts. Meijer was first elected to Congress in 2020, beating Democrat Hillary Scholten by 6 points. Beutler, first elected in 2010, beat her Democratic rival in 2020 by 13 points. And Newhouse, first elected in 2014, won his previous general election by nearly 33 points.

Gibbs, Kent and Culp, meanwhile, all promoted Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election and falsely claimed President Joe Biden’s victory was illegitimate.

They have tied themselves closely to the former president, touting his support and that of his allies. Meijer, Beutler and Newhouse instead sought to shift the discussion from their impeachment votes to local issues and national themes like inflation.

Democrats, on the other hand, tried to boost Meijer’s opponent, prompting backlash from some members of the House Democrat. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee placed a television ad last month that amplified Gibbs’ ties to Trump. Meijer’s campaign said the 30-second spot was “clear evidence” that Democrats would much rather face Gibbs than Meijer in November.

Only the district of Meijer is considered competitive in the fall. The Bake the political reporta nonpartisan election analyzer, lists Michigan’s 3rd congressional district as a draw, while Beutler and Newhouse districts are considered strong Republicans.

Gibbs will now face Scholten in the Western District of Michigan, while Kent will face Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. Newhouse is expected to face Democrat Doug White.

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