“Thank you, Southwest Washington, for entrusting me six times with the privilege of representing you in Congress. Ever since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country. Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home.”
The Associated Press had not officially signaled that Herrera Beutler would not advance to the general election as of Tuesday evening. But if Kent ultimately advances, he will face Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D), an auto repair shop owner who got the most votes in the Aug 2. primary, the Associated Press projected. A close race kept the outcome in doubt for an extended period.
In saying the contest was too early to call, AP cited the small margin of Kent’s lead, 0.42 percentage points among a total of 217,626 ballots counted Tuesday evening, and the fact that Washington state allows automatic recounts if a contest is within 0.5 percentage points. As of the time of Herrera Beutler’s concession, there were about 10,000 votes left to be tallied.
Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, would be the third such House Republican to lose in a primary this year, joining Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.), who was defeated last week and, Rep. Tom Rice (S.C.), who lost last month. Two Republicans have advanced — both from all-party primaries: Rep. Dan Newhouse (Wash.) and Rep. David G. Valadao (Calif.). Four others decided not to seek reelection.
The final House Republican to face a primary is Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who will go before voters Aug. 16. She faces a challenger running to her right who is backed by Trump.
Kent, who had never run for office before, raised more than $2.2 million and held town hall meetings across the 3rd Congressional District, which stretches from the Pacific coast to central Washington. He has embraced Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.
He is in a position to prevail despite a divided anti-Herrera Beutler vote, getting national attention when he flew to Washington, D.C., to rally for people he called “political prisoners” who were jailed in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.
“Whether you have questions about the election, whether you question voter procedures, or whether you’re a parent who shows up for a school board meeting, you can be labeled a terrorist or insurrectionist by our national security state,” Kent told voters during a stop last month.
National Democrats did not spend in the primary, after repeatedly targeting the…
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