Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez triumphed over conservative Republican Joe Kent to represent Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, stripping Republicans of a red bastion in a decidedly blue state.
Kent, a United States special forces veteran, ran on an unabashedly “America First” platform and sometimes causing rifts within his own party. He promised voters deregulation of the state’s lucrative fishing and timber industries to boost the economy.
Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto repair shop owner, focused on combating inflation, lowering the cost of living, and securing abortion rights.
She repeatedly labeled Kent an “extremist” and pitched herself as the centrist in the race. Kent advanced to the general election after defeating incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, in the primary.
“People are sick and tired of what’s happening in Congress,” Gluesenkamp Perez said in a statement, obtained by OPB. “The partisan bickering and extremism has left working people and small business owners like myself out in the cold.”
The contest was also notable in that a number of Republicans defected to Gluesenkamp Perez’s side.