Kent banks on same-day ballots, despite Pérez maintaining lead

Nov 9, 2022, 5:06 PM
Joe Kent battles Marie Glusenkamp Pérez in the District 3 race...

Republican Joe Kent, left, and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez wait before taking the stage for a debate in the race for the 3rd Congressional District, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Vancouver, Wash. Kent and Perez are battling for the newly open in seat in the southwest corner of the state after incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Buetler was ousted in the primary. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

(AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

Democratic candidate Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez is maintaining her lead over Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Joe Kent in Washington’s Congressional District 3 race.

“I think we’ve all just felt like politics is getting out of hand. There’s so much gridlock and nastiness,” Perez told KIRO Newsradio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “And I decided that it’s time to do something about it.”

If Pérez wins, she would be the first Democrat representing the district in 12 years.

Despite her early lead, Kent remains unbothered, stating he overcame a similar deficit in the primaries.

“This essentially is Groundhog Day from August. We’re in almost exactly the same spot as the day after the primary,” Kent said in response to the early voting returns on The Dori Monson Show. “We’re down, I think, by around 11,002. But [in the primary], it was a five-way split amongst Republicans. So right now, it’s just me vs. Marie Pérez.

“I think the vast majority of Republicans voted on game day right now,” Kent continued. “So we still believe that we have about 130,000 votes remaining to be counted. We’re optimistic.”

Pérez stated she has concerns over the representation among Congress, and that Kent is too extreme to represent the majority of residents within the district.

“I think, like a lot of Americans, when I look at Congress, I don’t see a body that looks like my neighbors or my family,” Pérez noted. “We need more working people that worry about their mortgage and putting gas in the car. I felt a small business owner and a mom like me is the answer to that if we want to get politics back on track. We just saw the ascendancy of a guy [Kent] who had some really extreme political views.”

Kent and Pérez became the final two candidates for the district after Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler failed to make it out of the primary.

Herrera Beutler, who served six terms representing Washington state, voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump for his involvement in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

But for those who expected a red wave yesterday, led by Trump-backed candidates, last night was full of disappointment. Dr. Mehmet Oz, Tudor Dixon, and Kristina Karamo all lost their races while Kari Lake and Blake Masters still trail in Arizona.

“We didn’t get a red wave because the Republican establishment spent so much money fighting America first and fighting Trump-endorsed candidates that if you’re if you’re a candidate like me, you had to endure a hard primary,” Kent said. “But we also had to endure a lot of money coming from the Republican establishment. I had about somewhere between $12 to 13 million spent against me in the primary alone. And I’m not the only one.”

Trump’s wins came from the likes of J.D. Vance for the Ohio Republican Senate, Ted Budd in North Carolina, and Katie Britt in Alabama.

“There’s a weird implied assumption that somehow if we get rid of Trump, the media’s going to treat DeSantis better. It’s almost like battered spouse syndrome, where it’s like, maybe if I just would have made dinner on time, he wouldn’t punch me in the face,” Kent said. “The media and the left are always going to treat us this way. Pick someone that’s actually going to punch them back.”

Whether or not last night was a disappointment for the Republican Party, Kent is sticking with his endorser, Donald Trump, who is rumored to be close to announcing a campaign for president for the 2024 election.

“He’s basically de facto announced just by the way he’s campaigning, so I think it’d be good for him to make it official,” Kent said. “Was he hurt last night? I don’t really think so. I mean, how many times has Donald Trump’s eulogy been read? And then he keeps coming right back, so I mean, I really wouldn’t read too much into or take too much stock into what the media is saying.”

“It’s not surprising, but it’s reassuring to see that our district is standing up for normal people,” Pérez explained. “Voters are tired of this extreme rhetoric. And so I’m excited. I’m hopeful. But, I have to say it’s reassuring, but not surprising because I know my community. I know they don’t hold those radical views.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Kent banks on same-day ballots, despite Pérez maintaining lead