Home USA News Glusenkamp Perez wins Kent, keeping Democratic hopes alive

Glusenkamp Perez wins Kent, keeping Democratic hopes alive

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Washington Democratic 3rd Congressional District candidate Marie Glusenkamp Perez waves to supporters while knocking at the last minute in Vancouver, Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (Daniel Kim/The Seattle Times via AP)

Washington Democratic 3rd Congressional District candidate Marie Glusenkamp Perez waves to supporters while knocking at the last minute in Vancouver, Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (Daniel Kim/The Seattle Times via AP)

AP

Democrats won a second key House race in Washington state on Saturday, an open seat in a conservative region that has long eluded the party.

Marie Glusenkamp Perez, a self-proclaimed independent Democrat, defeated Joe Kent, a far-right ex-America First Green Beret who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, in Southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

Combined with Rep. Kim Schrier’s re-election to a seat that Democrats had feared was vulnerable, Glusenkamp-Perez’s victory helped bolster the party’s hopes of retaining its House majority.

“I am both humbled and honored by the vote of confidence that the people of Southwest Washington have given me and my campaign,” Glusenkamp Perez said in a statement.

The Third District, which narrowly voted for Trump in 2020, has been represented for more than a decade by Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who failed to make it through the state’s first two primaries after angering conservatives with her vote to impeach Trump. an attack by his supporters on the US Capitol.

The 3rd District stretches from the southern border of Washington to southern Thurston County.

Schrier survived a challenge from Republican Matt Larkin to win a third term in the 8th District, which stretches from Seattle’s affluent eastern suburbs through the Cascade Mountains to the fruit country of central Washington. In 2018, Schrier, a pediatrician, became the first Democrat to win the seat since it was created in the early 1980s.

“I don’t know which party is going to control Congress, but races like mine — the ones that are sitting on a razor’s edge — are flipping one way or another,” Schrier told The Associated Press. “If more of them turn in that direction, it could mean we have a majority and set the agenda.”

By eliminating the 3rd District, which has not been held by Democrats since former Rep. Brian Baird resigned in 2010, the party will now hold eight of Washington’s 10 congressional seats.

Herrera Beutler won 22% of the vote in the primary, and how her voters split between Glusenkamp Perez and Kent could be the deciding factor in the race.

Glusenkamp Perez, who co-owns an auto dealership across the Columbia River in Portland, Ore., with her husband, said that as a small business owner who lives in a rural part of the district, she is more in tune with voters than Kent, who has repeatedly had to explain his connections with right-wing extremists.

Glusenkamp Perez supports abortion access and anti-climate change policies, but has also described herself as a gun owner who opposes a ban on assault rifles, although she supports raising the age of purchase to 21. She would not be a “typical Democrat” in Congress, she said.

Kent, a former Green Beret who is a regular on conservative television and podcasts, has called for the impeachment of President Joe Biden and an investigation into the 2020 election. He also opposed the shutdown of the COVID-19 and vaccine mandates and called for defunding the FBI following the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents.

In the 8th District, Schrier highlighted the results she has achieved, including helping raise money for road projects, rural broadband access and police body cameras. She also stressed that as the only female doctor in Congress who supports abortion rights, she opposes any GOP attempts to restrict abortions nationally after the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

She called Larkin’s opposition to abortion rights disqualifying.

Larkin is a lawyer and former candidate for Washington attorney general who works for a family company that makes parts for water pipes. Unlike the more extreme Republican candidates, Larkin says Biden was legitimately elected, though he also notes that many people disagree and are disappointed by that. He blasted Schrier on inflation, gas prices and crime, saying Democratic policies have made all three worse.

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