Aug 3, 2022 - News

Herrera Beutler, Republican who voted to impeach Trump, leads GOP candidates in primary

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Butler, R-Battle Ground, walks down the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler led her far-right challengers in early returns from Tuesday's primary election, making it seem as if she would advance to the November ballot.

Why it matters: Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump in 2021.

  • Trump loyalists have sought to unseat the congresswoman, while the ex-president endorsed one of her GOP challengers — making the race a test of Trump's lasting influence in the Republican Party.

Details: In early returns, Herrera Beutler was capturing about 24.5% of the vote in Washington state's 3rd Congressional District.

  • The 12-year-incumbent was well ahead of Republican Joe Kent, who had 20%, but trailed Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who took about 32% of the initial vote count around 9pm.
  • If those results hold, Herrera Beutler will advance to the November general election, along with Gluesenkamp Perez.

The backdrop: Trump endorsed Kent, a former Green Beret who has echoed the ex-president's claims of 2020 election fraud.

  • Kent and other conservative candidates in the race have roundly criticized Herrera Beutler for backing Trump's impeachment. The state Republican Party and local GOP organizations also admonished her.
  • Two other pro-Trump Republicans, Christian author and speaker Heidi St. John and state Rep. Vicki Kraft, also trailed Herrera Beutler on election night. St. John had about 15% of the vote and Kraft had 3.2%.
  • The 3rd Congressional District covers southwest Washington, starting at the Oregon border and ending south of Olympia.

What's next: More ballots will be counted in the vote-by-mail election in the coming days.

  • The two candidates who win the most votes will appear on the ballot in November.
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