After a fourth consecutive day of counting, Democratic congressional hopeful Marie Gluesenkamp Perez remains ahead of ultra MAGA Republican rival Joe Kent in the race for U.S. Representative in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
Though Kent gained some ground, his momentum in the late ballots has not put him on a trajectory for victory. His window to overtake Gluesenkamp Perez is closing, and he and his campaign know it. Gluesenkamp Perez is not declaring victory yet, but her campaign sees a Democratic victory as the most likely outcome.
“With today’s latest count of ballots from Cowlitz County and Clark County, Joe Kent once again fell well short of the gains he needed in order to change the outcome of this race,” said Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for the Gluesenkamp Perez campaign. “While we expect the margin to tighten a bit more as the final outstanding ballots are counted, Marie’s lead now looks all but insurmountable.”
“It’s clear that the voters of the 3rd Congressional District are choosing Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s approach of moderation and pragmatism over Joe Kent’s toxic politics of extremism and division.”
Kent’s media-hostile campaign refused to offer any commentary or analysis on the returns when asked for reaction by The Seattle Times.
Clark County, home to America’s Vancouver, is crucial to Gluesenkamp Perez’s chances. It has 327,049 registered voters — more than the rest of the district combined — and many of them are Democrats, independents, or lean Republican rather than holding unyielding ultra MAGA beliefs like Kent and his followers.
Gluesenkamp Perez has 55.58% of the Clark County vote as of this latest count. Her advantage over Kent in the county slipped only a little today, to 21,822 votes, down from 21,980 yesterday, continuing a trend we’ve seen the past two days.
Meanwhile, up in Cowlitz, Kent increased his lead from 3,203 votes to 3,968 votes. That cut the district-wide gap down to 4,959 votes.
Mass media outlets have not yet called the race, but the number of outstanding ballots is dwindling. Only a third of the district’s six counties tallied ballots today — specifically, Clark and Cowlitz. Clark is Gluesenkamp Perez’s base; Cowlitz is the most populous county in the district that is supporting Kent.
Clark is down to 20,000 ballots and plans to tally more tomorrow — a Saturday.
Cowlitz has 2,300 ballots left and will report again on Monday, November 14th. Pacific and Lewis counties will also report on Monday. Wahkiakum doesn’t plan to report again till certification day. Skamania plans to tabulate again on Tuesday, the 15th. Thurston County will join Clark in running another tally tomorrow.
A Democratic victory in WA-03 would be huge: the signature accomplishment of the cycle for Democrats in the Pacific Northwest. The election of Gluesenkamp Perez would bolster Democratic efforts to prevent Kevin McCarthy from getting a majority (McCarthy enthusiastically campaigned with Kent) and keep an extremist like Majorie Taylor Greene out of the region’s congressional district.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on this contest and bring you updates.