“Thank you, Southwest Washington, for entrusting me with the privilege of representing you in Congress six times. Since I was first elected to this seat, I have done my best to serve my home region and our country. Although my campaign failed this time around, I am proud of all that we have achieved together for the place I was raised and still call home.
The Associated Press had not officially reported that Herrera Beutler would not qualify for the general election Tuesday night. But if Kent does eventually advance, he will face Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D), the auto repair shop owner who got the most votes in the Aug. 2 primary, the Associated Press predicted. A close race kept the result in doubt for an extended period.
In saying the contest was too early to call, AP cited Kent’s small margin lead, 0.42 percentage points on a total of 217,626 ballots counted Tuesday night, and the fact that Washington State allows automatic recounts if a contest is within 0.5 percentage points. At the time of Herrera Beutler’s concession, approximately 10,000 votes remained to be counted.
Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, would be the third House Republican to lose in a primary this year, joining Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.), who was beaten last week and, Rep. Tom Rice (SC), who lost last month. Two Republicans advanced — both from multiparty primaries: Rep. Dan Newhouse (Wash.) and Rep. David G. Valadao (California). Four others have decided not to run again.
The last House Republican to face a primary is Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who will go before voters Aug. 16. She faces a running challenger to her right who is backed by Trump.
Kent, who had never run for office before, has raised more than $2.2 million and held town hall meetings in the 3rd congressional district, which stretches from the Pacific coast to central Washington. He embraced Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.
He is poised to win despite a split anti-Herrera Beutler vote, gaining national attention when he flew to Washington, DC, to rally for people he called ‘political prisoners’ who were imprisoned in connection with the January 6 attack.
“Whether you have questions about the election, question election procedures, or are a parent showing up at a school board meeting, you can be labeled a terrorist or an insurgent by our security state. national,” Kent told voters. a shutdown last month.
The National Democrats failed to spend in the primary, after repeatedly targeting the district and losing to Herrera Beutler. In an interview ahead of the primary, Perez called Kent a “horrifying” extremist, seeing a way to beat him even in a place Trump had taken to single digits in 2020.
“This is Washington State, for Pete’s sake, and we’re featuring a man who thinks we should arrest Anthony S. Fauci, impeach [President] Biden, end legal immigration? Perez asked. Last year Kent called for a “moratorium” on legal immigration, while work continued to stem illegal immigration.