State Rep. Herrera Beutler bows out of race; Newhouse holding lead over GOP primary challengers

One of two Washington state members of Congress has bowed out of the race, and the other still faces opposition among the Republican party after both voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2020: Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, and Rep. Dan Newhouse, who represents the 4th Congressional District.

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U.S. Congress, District 3

As of Tuesday evening, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez continues to lead, although totals for Republican candidates comprise just under 70% of the remaining votes. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler bowed out of the race Tuesday evening after failing to finish in the top two spots. Joe Kent overtook Beutler on Monday and now leads the group of GOP candidates. Heidi St. John follows behind Kent.

In a statement, Beutler said in part, “Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home.”

Washington’s 3rd Congressional District includes Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties, and part of southern Thurston County.

Herrera Beutler was seeking her seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives after first being elected to the position in 2011. She was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

According to Gluesenkamp Perez’s campaign website, her great-great-grandfather “helped build the Washington State Capitol building as a quarry foreman.” She owns an auto-repair shop with her husband, and touts herself as a candidate “for working Washingtonians.”

Herrera Beutler’s main Republican challengers were St. John and Kent.

Kent, a former Green Beret in the U.S. Army, has been formally endorsed by Trump and is running in part because of Herrera Beutler’s decision to vote to impeach the former president. Kent’s campaign website calls Herrera Beutler a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and highlights his endorsement from the former president.

St. John is a conservative author, podcaster and public speaker who has expressed in the past that “President Trump’s agenda was the right agenda for America.” She also decided to run after Herrera Beutler’s vote to impeach Trump.

The headwinds Herrera Beutler faced were evident in the northern edge of the 3rd District, in southern Thurston County.

Rochester realtor Larry Weaver supported Herrera Beutler in the past, but after she voted to impeach Trump following Jan. 6, he shifted his allegiance to Kent.

“He’s a ball of fire as far as I’m concerned and we share a lot of the same values. Jamie would be fine, we’re not anti-Jamie, but I think it was damaging the position she took,” Weaver said.

Another Rochester resident, Diana Wiens, said, “I thought she should have stuck with her party, and she didn’t and that was a disappointment.”

While Beutler has bowed out of the race, she will complete her term in Congress which ends Jan. 3, 2023

State law requires a machine recount when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 2,000 votes and 0.5%.

If candidates get within 150 votes and 0.25%, it would be a manual recount.

U.S. Congress, District 4

Incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse is leading in his own primary, followed by Democrat Doug White. Former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp sits in third, followed by Navy veteran Jerrod Sessler and state Rep. Brad Klippert.

Washington’s 4th congressional district encompasses a large area of central Washington, including all of Okanogan, Douglas, Grant, Yakima, Benton and Klickitat counties, as well as parts of Adams and Franklin counties.

Only three Democrats have ever represented the district in Congress. The last Democrat to represent the district was Jay Inslee who held the seat for one term before he lost to Doc Hastings in the 1994 election.

Newhouse, a four-term congressman in the 4th Congressional District, is the other Washington state member of Congress who is facing opposition among his own party for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2020. Before he was elected to Congress in 2014, he served four terms as a legislator in the Washington State House of Representatives, representing the 15th Legislative District from 2003 to 2009.

White’s campaign website describes his lineage as part of a 4th generation farming family, before eventually working in Saudi Arabia as a operation manager “for the world’s largest telophony project.”

Culp is the former police chief of Republic, a town with a population of about 1,000 in Ferry County and was endorsed by Trump in February. He is perhaps best known for his unsuccessful run for governor in 2020 in which he refused to concede to Jay Inslee and filed a lawsuit demanding an audit of paper ballots which he later withdrew.

Klippert is a seven-term state representative from Kennewick who touts his 27-year career in law enforcement, as well as his over 34 years of military service. While Klippert has lagged behind the other candidates in fundraising, he has received endorsements from the Franklin and Benton County Republican Parties.

Sessler is a former NASCAR driver and Navy veteran who describes himself as a “successful entrepreneur and America First Patriot.” He has also won the endorsement of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

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