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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Joe Kent cuts into Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s lead, but may be running out of runway

The close con­test for Wash­ing­ton’s 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict got clos­er today as late bal­lots more favor­able to ultra MAGA Repub­li­can Joe Kent were tab­u­lat­ed in South­west Wash­ing­ton coun­ties like Clark and Cowlitz, but Kent could be run­ning out of run­way to mount anoth­er come from behind vic­to­ry like he had in August.

The small­er coun­ties where Kent is see­ing his best per­for­mance are pret­ty much out of bal­lots to process, while the more pop­u­lous Clark Coun­ty — where Marie Glue­senkamp Perez is ahead — still has 45,000 left to count. If Glue­senkamp Perez can stay com­pet­i­tive in the next two or three drops, she ought to be able to eke out a win over Kent and pick up a con­gres­sion­al seat for Democrats.

Kent, one of the most extreme Repub­li­cans on the bal­lot any­where in the coun­try this year, end­ed up on the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot due to Repub­li­can vot­ers’ dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, who wise­ly vot­ed to impeach Don­ald Trump over the Jan­u­ary 6th insur­rec­tion and was then aban­doned by Repub­li­cans for her patri­o­tism. Glue­senkamp Perez entered the con­test on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic side in Feb­ru­ary in response to Ken­t’s candidacy.

Glue­senkamp Perez’s lead over Kent was 10,273 votes yes­ter­day; today, it’s 5,882.

“As expect­ed the mar­gin in this race has tight­ened, but we remain very opti­mistic that when all the bal­lots are count­ed the vot­ers of South­west Wash­ing­ton will reject hyper-par­ti­san­ship and extrem­ism by elect­ing Marie Glue­senkamp Perez the next mem­ber of Con­gress from Washington’s 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict,” said Sandeep Kaushik, one of Glue­senkamp Perez’s advi­sors, in a statement.

“In today’s bal­lot count, Joe Kent did not make the gains he need­ed in order to have more than an out­side chance of flip­ping the out­come of this race. His result was par­tic­u­lar­ly dis­ap­point­ing for him in pop­u­lous Clark County.”

“Going for­ward, the vast major­i­ty of the votes remain­ing to be count­ed are in Clark Coun­ty, where Marie’s cam­paign has run strongest, and if cur­rent vote count­ing trends hold Marie will win. While there are still too many out­stand­ing bal­lots remain­ing to declare vic­to­ry, our con­fi­dence that Marie will ulti­mate­ly defy expec­ta­tions and pre­vail is grow­ing by the day.”

Despite los­ing ground to Kent across the dis­trict as a whole, Glue­senkamp Perez held her own in Clark Coun­ty. Her advan­tage over Kent dimin­ished only slight­ly in the third count, going from 22,106 votes yes­ter­day to 21,980 today.

Lewis Coun­ty, one of Ken­t’s strong­holds, is down to just 380 out­stand­ing bal­lots and won’t report again until next week. Cowlitz has 6,500 bal­lots await­ing pro­cess­ing (down from 12,000) and will report tomor­row along with Clark.

The late Cowlitz bal­lots have been favor­able to Kent.

He had a 909 vote lead on Elec­tion Night in the coun­ty, dou­bled the lead to 1,970 yes­ter­day, and then tacked on. He now has a 3,203 vote advan­tage in Cowlitz.

The oth­er coun­ties in the dis­trict also do not plan to report tomorrow.

Thurston will do a Sat­ur­day count, Pacif­ic will do its next count on the 14th, Ska­ma­nia will do its next count on the 15th, and tiny Wahki­akum Coun­ty does­n’t plan to do anoth­er tal­ly until cer­ti­fi­ca­tion day on Novem­ber 28th.

Democ­rats have not won a con­gres­sion­al race in Wash­ing­ton’s 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict since 2008, a wave year for Democ­rats that bol­stered Bri­an Baird.

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