FILE – Herrera Beutler

(The Center Square) – New primary counting totals Tuesday afternoon narrowed the lead Republican challenger Joe Kent enjoyed over incumbent Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battleground, but not by enough to save her.

Herrera Beutler conceded the race late Tuesday after new numbers were released.

“Thank you, Southwest Washington, for entrusting me six times with the privilege of representing you in Congress,” she said in a statement sent out to several newspapers. “Ever since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country. Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home.”

Kent had been sitting on 47,623 votes (22.79%) to the congresswoman’s 46,663 votes (22.33%) – a margin of 960 votes.

The new count, released by the Washington State Secretary of State’s Office at 5:38 p.m. had Kent at 49,515 votes (22.74%) to Herrera Beutler’s 48,507 (22.31%) – a margin of 869 votes in Kent’s favor.

“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 said in conceding.

That statement may be interpreted in a number of ways. The immediate partisan context has to do with former President Donald Trump.

Herrera Beutler was one of 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote for Trump’s impeachment after the events of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riots.

Another Republican who voted to impeach was Congressman Dan Newhouse in Washington’s 4th District.

Both faced Trump-backed challengers. Newhouse managed to get more votes in the primaries than both his Republican challengers and his Democratic rival.

Herrera Beutler was beat out first by Democratic challenger Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who at the last count had 67,674 votes (31.01%) and, as the counting dragged on, by Kent.

Kent inherits a district to contest on Nov. 8 that leans Republican and a primary electorate that voted 64.71% for GOP candidates, but has been deeply divided over one of the most red-hot political figures of our era.

Regional Editor

Jeremy Lott is a regional editor at The Center Square overseeing the Pacific Northwest. Lott previously worked as an editor for a number of publications and founded three of the Real Clear Politics family of websites.