Trump-backed Joe Kent surges past Republican who voted for impeachment

·2 min read

Former green beret Joe Kent has surged past a Republican who voted for Donald Trump’s impeachment in a hotly-contested battle for a congressional seat.

Almost a week after voters in Washington third congressional district went to the polls, it was revealed that Mr Kent had now passed Jaime Herrera Beutler, and led her by 813 votes.

“10-15k ballots remain to be counted in Clark County. It’s still mathematically possible for JHB to retake the lead, but there’s no reason to think she will,” tweeted Phil Gardner, Chief of Staff for Washington’s Lieutenant Governor.

Mr Kent is now in second place overall, behind Democract Marie Perez, who had gathered 64,536 votes.

Mr Kent, who reveived the endorsement and encouragemet of Mr Trump, had 47,357 votes as of Monday evening, with Ms Herrera Beutler, on 46,544.

Washington state is one of two places that use an open, top-two primary system, in which the top two candidates proceed to the general election showdown regardless of party.

Ms Herrera Beutler was first elected to Washington’s third congressional district in 2010 and reelected five times.

Jaime Herrera Beutler was one of ten Republicans Trump pursued (AP)
Jaime Herrera Beutler was one of ten Republicans Trump pursued (AP)

But she was one of just 10 Republicans in the House who voted for Mr Trump’s impeachment after the Jan 6 riots and the establishment of a committee to investigate what happened.

Mr Trump denounced the 10 as traitors and vowed to oust them all.

Another of the 10, Dan Newhouse, from Washington’s fourth congressional district, held off a challenge from Loren Culp, a former police chief who had the ex-president’s backing in that contest. He will go to the general election against Democrat Doug White, the Associated Press announced on Friday.

And last week, Michigan congressman Peter Meijer lost to challenger John Gibbs, who had the support of Mr Trump.

“I’ve seen seen enough: #WA03 Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) has lost reelection. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Joe Kent will advance to November,” tweeted analyst Dave Wasserman, of the Cook Political Report.

On Monday evening, as it was revealed FBI agents had raided Mr Trump’s estate in Florida, a place where Mr Kent attended a fund-raiser, he tweeted: “We must bring the national security state to heel or we won’t have a country anymore. That has to be our top priority in 2023. We start with the FBI & DOJ.”