WA-03 upset: MAGA Republican unseats Trump impeacher in primary
The MAGA Republican will face Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in the general election.
In a statement to reporters, Herrera Beutler said, in part, “I’m proud that I always told the truth, stuck to my principles, and did what I knew to be best for our country.”
Herrera Beutler, who served six terms in Congress, voted to impeach Donald Trump last year.
Trump retaliated by endorsing Kent, a former Green Beret who has boosted the ex-president's lies about 2020 election fraud. Kent has also endorsed the racist "white replacement theory" and has tried to cast doubt on Washington state's vote-by-mail system.
Both Kent and Gluesenkamp Perez are first-time candidates.
Herrera Beutler was battling for second place in her primary before stating she would drop out of the race.
As of Tuesday evening, Kent had secured 49,515 votes, putting him just 928 ahead of Herrera Beutler's 48,587. Gluesenkamp Perez had 67,674. The state's open primary system means the top two candidates with the most votes face off in the general election, regardless of party.
Gluesenkamp Perez acknowledged Herrera Beutler's concession on Tuesday evening, tweeting: "I’m Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, the Democrat who beat Joe Kent in the primary and will beat him again in November. With your help we’ll flip this seat blue, protect abortion rights, and save our democracy."
Herrera Beutler was one of just 10 Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment last year. Congressman Dan Newhouse, from Washington's 4th district, was another. Newhouse survived his primary last week. His Democratic challenger, Doug White, will advance alongside him to the general election. Newhouse earned just 140 more votes than White.
County election officials have until Aug. 16 to conclude primary vote-counting. The secretary of state then certifies the votes on Aug. 19.
This breaking news story has been updated with new information throughout.