Early results from Tuesday night had incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, and Marie Glusenkemp Perez, D-Washougal, leading in the primary race to represent Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
Herrera Beutler had earned 26,373 votes in the most recent count, which amounted to 24.48%, and Glusenkemp Perez had taken the lead with 34,226 votes, or 31.77%. The primary, where the top-two vote getters move to the general election, had nine candidates total. Two Republicans took a close third and fourth place in Joe Kent with 20.11% and Heidi St. John with 15.08%.
Herrera Beutler was one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, while Kent was endorsed by Trump.
During a news conference on Tuesday night with reporters from The Seattle Times, The Columbian, The Daily News and other organizations, Herrera Beutler took questions on the early results of the election.
Ultimately, Herrera Beutler felt it was not her impeachment vote, but her work locally that took her over the edge. She said many have tried to make this “a national race,” but that her focus has remained in the 3rd Congressional District.
“I think this actually speaks more broadly to who I am as a representative, here in southwest Washington. You know, we were doorbelling — we ran through the tape — we were doorbelling today, sign waving today up until a few hours before polls closed. And I was so encouraged to hear from people of all political stripes — hardcore Republicans, Democrats and independents — saying they were going to support me, primarily because of the local work I do,” the congresswoman said in a response to The Chronicle.
With the other two leading Republicans trying to proclaim themselves as the farthest-right in the race, Kent’s campaign focused on Herrera Beutler as his primary opponent, while St. John’s framed Kent as her main foe.
A reporter with The Chronicle asked Herrera Beutler what she would say to supporters of those two who have felt she has lost her way with the Republican Party.
“This is an important question because if I get to go through this, this is exactly the case I'll be making. And it's number one: In Washington, D.C., right now, it's controlled — as it is in Washington state — by one single party. There is no outside input,” Herrera Beutler said. “A lot of bills are written behind closed doors and they’re not written with any kind of balance. And so right now, I think it’s incredibly important that we send someone to D.C. who has a different perspective. And I would say that to Democrats.”
She went on to describe inflation and its effects on American families, saying that “the Democratic side” is not working out for the country.
“I’ve never voted for a tax increase. I work really hard to protect our Second Amendment rights. Life is an important issue to me. Those are all things that haven’t changed,” Herrera Beutler said.
This story will be updated for Thursday's edition of The Chronicle.