Washington’s Third Congressional District is set to change political party representation as Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez eked out a victory against Republican Joe Kent.
As of the latest numbers before press deadline, Gluesenkamp Perez had about 50.5% of the vote to Kent’s roughly 49%. Gluesenkamp Perez garnered about 110,000 votes in Clark County alone, for roughly 55.2% of the county vote to Kent’s about 44.2%.
Gluesenkamp Perez had a lead of about 4,600 votes as of Monday morning, which had dropped over the course of ballot counts from a high of roughly 52.6% on the night of the election deadline.
“We won,” Gluesenkamp Perez wrote in a social media post following Saturday’s count. “I am humbled, honored, and grateful.”
The automotive repair shop co-owner from Skamania County was a relative latecomer in the race, having filed for candidacy earlier this year. After nabbing the top voter percentage in an August primary featuring several Republicans seeking to unseat current U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, her campaign saw an influx of donations, putting her ahead in fundraising against Kent.
Kent had been in the race since 2021. He was spurred on by Herrera Beutler’s vote to impeach then-president Donald Trump as a result of the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol building.
Following the latest results, Gluesenkamp Perez professed her desire to represent the district.
“I pledge to work every day to live up to the responsibility placed in me,” she said in the social media post. “I will defend our rights. I will protect our democracy. And I will deliver the help working and middle class families need.”
By the weekend, Gluesenkamp Perez was already in Washington, D.C., according to another social media post.
“Just ran into someone from our corner of the country who I respect so much: Congresswoman Mary Peltola of Alaska,” Gluesenkamp Perez said in the post. “Looking forward to working with her to deliver for our districts.”
Kent did not concede after Saturday’s updated election results. As of press deadline, he stressed the need for rejected ballots to be “cured.”
“That means that you submitted your ballot, but for whatever reason, usually a signature match issue, it’s been rejected,” Kent said in a video posted to social media.
Kent, formerly of the U.S. Army Special Forces and a regular interviewee on conservative news networks, has denied the results of the 2020 presidential election. In the case of his own contest, he remains dedicated to seeing out the totality of the vote.
“We won’t concede until every single legal vote is counted,” Kent said in the video.