Olympia, Wash. ( Associated Press) — Representative Jaime Herrera Beitler, one of two Republican members of Washington’s congressional delegation that voted to impeach Donald Trump, was overtaken in a late vote count by a GOP challenger backed by the former. after his re-election bid is accepted. President
Trump targeted the six-term incumbent in the third Congressional District contest and endorsed Joe Kent, a former Green Beret. The district is in southwestern Washington state across the border from Portland, Oregon.
Herrera Beutler, who was first elected to the US House in 2010, was ahead of Kent by 4,700 votes on election night, but her lead narrowed during the previous week, and updated returns put Kent ahead and on Monday night. Moved to the number 2 spot.
Once Clark County, the largest of the district, and Thurston counties updated their heights on Tuesday, Kent led with 928 votes and 22.7% of the vote, and Herrera Beutler was third with 22.3% of the vote.
Herrera Beutler admitted in an email shortly after the latest update, saying that “Ever since I was first selected for this seat, I have done my best to serve my home region and our country.”
“Although my campaign has been short this time, I’m proud to put it together for the place I grew up and still call home,” she wrote, adding, “I’m proud that I’ve always been true Said, stuck to his principles, and did what I knew was best for our country.”
Under Washington’s primary system, the top two vote-getters in each race advance to the November election, regardless of party, on August 2. Washington is a vote by postal state, and voters are not required to declare affiliation to the party.
Democrat Mary Glusenkamp Perez had already advanced to the November ballot as she was the top vote-getter with 31% of the vote following the August 2 primary vote.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the last member of Congress to lose in a primary in Washington state was Representative John Miller, who lost to Ralph Hore in 1930.
Since Washington is a vote-by-mail state and ballots have to arrive on Election Day, it often takes several days to know the final result in close races as ballots arrive at county election offices throughout the week.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said Tuesday that processing votes in his office took longer than usual because a larger number of voters held onto their ballots longer than in previous elections. Kimsey said 92,300 ballots were received between last Monday and Wednesday, compared to 49,000 in the same three-day period in 2018.
Herrera Beutler has said she has no regrets about her impeachment vote following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol – and has stood by her comments made on the floor and later on Twitter – including her revelation that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told him he spoke with Trump when rioters stormed the Capitol, and according to McCarthy the president said: “Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election than you are. Huh.”
Kent is a regular on conservative cable shows that echo former president’s complaints about the 2020 election result and on Steve Bannon’s podcast On Monday, Kent criticized the state primary as “not a transparent process” and said he had to address a signature problem that day with his own ballot.
County Elections Officer Kimsey said signature verification is an important part of the process that ensures the security and integrity of the state’s vote-by-mail system.
In a statement released Monday night after Kent went ahead, Glusenkamp Perez pointed to Kent’s comments about state elections, and said that the Third Congressional District race was “one for the direction of the country and for the future of the nation.” It is going to be a national bell. Our democracy.”
Four out of 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment opted not to run for re-election. Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer was defeated in a primary last week by Trump-backed John Gibbs and South Carolina Representative Tom Rice to a Trump-backed challenger in June. Representative David Valladao of California — which has an open primary like Washington — survived a primary challenge. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming is preparing for a defeat against a Trump-backed opponent in her August 16 primary.
Washington Representative Dan Newhouse headed to the general election in his Washington state primary last week, defending a Trump-backed opponent, and will appear in November’s vote alongside Democratic rival Doug White.
At Washington State University, Thomas S. Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute for Public Policy, said the fact that the three anti-Newhouse Republican candidates each had a double-digit percentage helped him survive his primary with only 25% of the vote.
But in the third, where the only serious Republican challengers were Kent and Heidi St. John, “it was close but not close enough to dissolve the anti-incumbency vote on the Republican side.”
The Kent campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but campaign manager Ozzy Gonzalez said in an email last week that Kent would wait until the winner was certified. Counties have until August 16 to finish their counting and to publicize the results to the boards to certify, followed by August 19 for certification by the secretary of state.