Rep. Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump, concedes
Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of two Republican members of the Washington state congressional delegation who voted to impeach Donald Trump, conceded his bid for re-election after being overtaken in late vote counts by a GOP challenger endorsed by the former president.
Trump had targeted the six-term incumbent and endorsed Joe Kent, a former Green Beret, in the 3rd Congressional District contest. The district is in southwest Washington, across the border from Portland, Oregon.
Herrera Beutler, who was first elected to the US House in 2010, led Kent by around 4,700 votes on election night, but her lead has dwindled throughout the past week, and comebacks updated put Kent in the lead and in second place on Monday night.
Once Clark County, the largest in the district, and Thurston Counties updated their tallies on Tuesday, Kent led by 928 votes and 22.7% of the vote, and Herrera Beutler was in third place with 22.3% of the votes.
Herrera Beutler conceded in an email shortly after the last update, saying that “since I was first elected to this seat, I have done my best to serve my region of origin and our country”.
“Although my campaign failed this time around, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place I grew up in and where I still call home,” she wrote, saying that “I am proud to have always spoken the truth, I have remained true to my principles and I have done what I know is best for our country.
Under Washington’s primary system, the top two voters in each August 2 race qualify for the November election, regardless of party. Washington is a mail-in voting state and voters do not have to declare party affiliation.
Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez had already qualified for the November ballot as she was the first to collect votes after the August 2 primary, with 31% of the vote.
The Associated Press said the race for the second candidate to advance in the primary is still too early to be announced, as it estimates there are around 10,000 votes left to be counted.
According to the secretary of state’s office, the last incumbent congressman to lose in a primary in Washington state was Representative John Miller, who lost to Ralph Horr in 1930.
Because Washington is a mail-in voting state and ballots simply need to be cast on Election Day, it often takes days to find out the final results in tight races as ballots arrive at polling stations. of the county throughout the week.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said Tuesday that votes in his office took longer than usual because many voters held on to their ballots longer than in previous elections. . Kimsey said 92,300 ballots arrived between last Monday and Wednesday, compared to 49,000 during the same three-day period in 2018.
Herrera Beutler said she doesn’t regret her impeachment vote following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol – and stood by her comments made both on the floor and on Twitter afterwards – including his revelation that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told him he spoke with Trump as rioters stormed the Capitol, and that, according to McCarthy, the President said, “Well, Kevin, I guess that these people are more upset about the election than you.”
Kent is a regular on conservative cable shows who echo the former president’s grievances over the 2020 election outcome, and on Steve Bannon’s podcast on Monday, Kent slammed the state’s primary as “not a process transparent” and said he had to fix a signing issue with his own ballot that day.
Kimsey, the county elections official, noted that verifying signatures is a crucial part of the process that ensures the security and integrity of the state’s mail-in voting system.
In a statement Monday night after Kent took the lead, Gluesenkamp Perez highlighted Kent’s comments about the state’s election and said the race for the 3rd congressional district “is going to be a national indicator for the direction of the country and for the future of our democracy.
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, four chose not to run for office. Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer was defeated in a primary last week by Trump-endorsed John Gibbs, and South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice lost to a Trump-endorsed challenger in June. Rep. David Valadao of California — which has an open primary like Washington — survived a primary challenge. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is bracing for defeat in her Aug. 16 primary against a Trump-backed rival.
Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse qualified for the general election in his primary in Washington state last week, fending off a Trump-backed rival, and will appear in the November ballot with Democratic opponent Doug White .
Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy at Washington State University, noted that the fact that three anti-Newhouse Republican candidates each had double-digit percentages helped him survive his primary with just 25. % voices.
But in the 3rd, where the only serious Republican challengers were Kent and Heidi St. John, “it was close but there wasn’t enough to fracture the anti-incumbent vote on the Republican side.”
The Kent campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but campaign manager Ozzie Gonzalez said in an email last week that Kent would wait for the winner to be certified. Counties have until August 16 to complete their tally and for canvassing commissions to certify the results, followed by certification by the Secretary of State by August 19.