Challenger Joe Kent won over US Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler in vote counting released on Friday, leaving the six-term incumbent on the verge of defeat amid backlash over his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, US Representative Dan Newhouse has now survived his impeachment vote, moving to face Democrat Doug White this fall, as Trump-backed challenger Lauren Culp takes third place.
Herrera Beitler, R-Battle Ground, was in second place since election night, which would secure her a spot on the general election ballot in Southwest Washington’s Third District.
But Kent, his Trump-backed challenger, has risen to the height of the latter, cutting deep into Herrera Beutler’s lead and threatening to push him into third place.
As of Friday evening, Herrera Beutler had 22.6% of Kent’s 22.5% of the vote – a difference of only 257 votes. Kent was behind by 1,945 on Thursday. An estimated 30,000 ballots are yet to be counted in Clark County, the district’s population center.
Democrat Mary Glusenkamp Perez finished first with almost 31% of the vote, leading her to a November matchup against either Kent or Herrera Beutler.
If it stays so close, the race will be under a compulsory recalculation,
If the difference between two candidates is less than 2,000 votes and less than half of the 1% percentile of the total votes cast for the candidates, a recalculation of the machine is necessary. If candidates separate by less than 150 votes and both candidates separate by less than a quarter of the total votes, manual recounting is required.
Kent’s momentum came in late ballots, despite a flood of more than $4 million in spending outside the PAC aimed at rescuing Herrera Beutler. Some penny ads promoting another Republican challenger and Kent rival, Heidi St. John, finished fourth in the race.
Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, in the Fourth District of Central Washington, managed to clear the primary despite joining the vote with Herrera Beitler and eight other Republicans to impeach Trump for the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 Stayed.
Newhouse was in first place with about 25.5% of the vote, slightly ahead of Democrat Doug White at 25.4%. The Seattle Times has called the race White and Newhouse.
Culp, the former small-town police chief and 2020 gubernatorial candidate, was in third place with 21%, as the anti-Newhouse vote among Republicans was split among six challengers.
County publicity boards are set to certify the results on August 16. Statewide results must be certified by the Secretary of State by August 19.