Joe Kent advances to November, stresses energy, inflation as biggest immediate problems

Aug 10, 2022, 5:58 PM | Updated: 7:59 pm
joe kent...
(Photo courtesy of Joe Kent's campaign)
(Photo courtesy of Joe Kent's campaign)

Joe Kent is set to advance to the general election after six-term incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), one of the Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, conceded her re-election bid Tuesday.

“I think the biggest lesson coming out of this is we are very conservative. We can be a very powerful voice on the national stage if we unify and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Kent said on the Jason Rantz Show in reference to his district.

Kent has consistently supported Trump and backed the claims that the 2020 election contained voter fraud, which led to President Biden’s victory. The former Green Beret served 11 combat deployments before retiring from Special Forces to join the CIA before pivoting to politics.

Dori: In a tight race, Congressional candidate Kent’s own ballot almost didn’t count

“I really want to start reaching out to Independents and Democrats who just know our country is heading in the wrong direction, whether it’s inflation, whether it’s national security state, going after and raiding President Trump’s home, we’re not in a good spot right now as a country,” Kent said. “I want to have those conversations with people who are maybe skeptical of Republicans, maybe skeptical of somebody who is endorsed by President Trump, because I think we have a lot to offer them.”

Earlier this year, Kent was under fire from critics who called him a “racist” and a “neo-Nazi” over his comments about “replacement theory” and his relationship with Nick Fuentes and the right-wing group, the Proud Boys.

“It’s really unfortunate, but it’s not surprising. I feel like, as conservatives, we get called white supremacist, white nationalist, so much now that I think I’ve sort of become accustomed to it,” Kent said. “But I do get pretty offended by it. I served the country for a little over 20 years, I deployed to combat with people of every single race, creed, all great Americans, they put their lives in my hand, I put my lives in their hands.”

According to federal campaign finance filings, Kent collected $452,131 this summer, a 23% jump from the spring quarter. His $836,818 in cash donations inevitably trailed Herrera Beutler’s $1.4 million, but Kent outpaced recent history in the district. Carolyn Long, a professor backed by Democrats to challenge Herrera Beutler the last two cycles, never totaled the amount Kent received in that timespan.

Kent’s No. 1 concern right now? Energy.

“We have to get back to being not just energy independent, but a net exporter of energy. Look, I mean, there’s been major problems with the economy since 2008. That’s a bigger, broader conversation,” Kent said. “But really, when Biden came in, he killed off the Keystone XL Pipeline, he stopped exploratory drilling that destroyed our energy independence, and ever since then, the economy has taken a massive nosedive.”

Joe Kent will face off against another newcomer in Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D) in the November election.

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Joe Kent advances to November, stresses energy, inflation as biggest immediate problems