Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Joe Kent in the Republican primary for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of only 10 GOP members to vote for the second impeachment of the 45th president.
''Joe Kent is strong on Crime and the Border, loves our Military and our Vets, and will protect our Second Amendment, which is under siege,'' Trump wrote on his Save America website.
Since 2011, Herrera Beutler has held the seat in the south and southwest portions of Washington state, a district Trump won over Joe Biden 51%-47% in 2020 and has voted Republican in five of the last six presidential elections, including for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in 2012.
''Joe served his country proudly for many years and understands the tremendous cost of America's wars in the Middle East, and elsewhere. In Congress, Joe will be a warrior for the America First agenda, unlike Jaime Herrera Beutler who voted, despite the facts, against the Republican Party and for the Democrats' Impeachment Scam,'' Trump said.
Kent, 41, and Herrera Beutler are two of five declared Republican candidates in the Aug. 2, 2022, primary, joined by Matthew Overton and Wadi Yakhour, both military veterans, and author and pastor Heidi St. John.
Movie theater technician Brent Hennrich and 2016 Bernie Sanders delegate Lucy Lauser are the two declared Democrats for the position.
Kent, a 20-year veteran and former Green Beret with 11 combat deployments, is also a Gold Star husband, having lost his wife, Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, in a suicide bombing while she was conducting special operations against the Islamic State group in Syria in 2019.
Herrera Beutler voted to impeach Trump, claiming there were "indisputable and publicly available facts" that he incited protesters to storm the U.S. Capitol, despite Trump’s comments to the crowd that they will be ''marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically'' make their voices heard.
Trump’s endorsement is the latest in a series of expressions of support for other Republican candidates, including Sean Parnell for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania being vacated by fellow Republican Pat Toomey and Adam Laxalt for the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada held by Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
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