Marie Perez with her family
Marie Perez with her family (Campaign photo)

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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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