Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has become the third congressperson who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump to be ousted in a primary.
Herrera Beutler fell to Trump-backed Joe Kent, a former Green Beret, in the 3rd Congressional District contest. The district is in southwest Washington state, across the border from Portland, Oregon. Kent will face Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in November. She had already advanced to the general election since she was the top vote getter after the Aug. 2 primary, with 31 per cent of the vote.
Herrera Beutler, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010, led Kent by about 4,700 votes on election night but her lead shrunk throughout last week, and updated returns Wednesday night put Kent – who was in the No. 2 spot since Monday night – ahead by 1050 votes.
Kent finished with 22.8 per cent of the vote, and Herrera Beutler was in third place with 22.3 per cent of the vote.
Herrera Beutler conceded the race in an e-mail Tuesday night, saying that “since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country.”
In a statement Wednesday, Kent thanked the other Republican candidates, saying all of the “campaigns fought hard because we all care deeply about this district and this country.”
“Now is the time to unite as Republicans because the stakes have never been higher,” he wrote.
Gluesenkamp Perez said in a statement earlier this week that the 3rd Congressional District race “is going to be a national bellwether for the direction of the country, and for the future of our democracy.”
Under Washington’s primary system, the top two vote getters in each race Aug. 2 advance to the November election, regardless of party. Washington is a vote by mail state, and voters don’t have to declare a party affiliation.
Because Washington is a vote-by-mail state and ballots just need to be in by Election Day, it often takes days to learn final results in close races as ballots arrive at county election offices throughout the week.
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment, four opted not to run for re-election. Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer was defeated in a primary last week by Trump-endorsed John Gibbs and Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina 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 advanced to the general election in his Washington state primary last week, fending off a Trump-endorsed rival, and will appear on the November ballot with Democratic opponent Doug White.
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