Former President Donald Trump’s influence on the GOP remains fully intact despite ongoing efforts by the Left to destroy his character. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler – an impeachment voter – conceded to her Trump-backed challenger Joe Kent. Four other GOP candidates given the Trump nod also won their primaries this week.
Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur; August 9, 2022
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican who voted to impeach Donald Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 riot, conceded Tuesday to a challenger backed by the former president.
NBC News has not yet projected the second candidate who will advance the general election in the state’s 3rd Congressional District. As it stands, the top two vote-getters, who under the state’s election rules would advance to the general election, are Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and the Trump-endorsed Republican Joe Kent.
Beutler conceded her race Tuesday night in a statement that did not mention Kent by name.
“Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home,” she said. “Serving you in the United States Congress these past twelve years has been the honor of my lifetime.”
Beutler’s concession means two of the three House Republicans on the ballot last week who backed Trump’s impeachment lost to candidates he endorsed: Rep. Peter Meijer fell to John Gibbs in Michigan by less than 4 percentage points, while Rep. Dan Newhouse fended off Trump-backed challenger Loren Culp in Washington by more than 4 points.
While those other two races were called last week, Beutler’s race lingered. She led Kent for much of the ballot count before she fell behind on Monday.
In Washington state, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, move on to the general election in November, a setup that gave both Newhouse and Beutler a better chance of advancing than their fellow impeachment supporters in more traditional party primaries. Still, only Newhouse survived.
The contests in Washington and Michigan were the latest gauges of Trump’s influence over the party. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is the last remaining impeachment supporter who has yet to face voters in a primary this election cycle. Cheney, the vice chair of the House committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 riot and Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, has encountered particularly stiff headwinds back home. Her primary is scheduled for Aug. 16.
“Knock out Impeachment Slime Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Peter Meijer, TODAY,” Trump posted to his Truth Social platform last week ahead of their primaries. “The rest, including the now disgraced RINO, Liz Cheney, are either gone, or soon will be.”
On Tuesday night, Trump congratulated Kent.
“Joe Kent just won an incredible race against all odds in Washington State,” Trump said in a statement. “Importantly, he knocked out yet another impeacher, Jaime Herrera Beutler, who so stupidly played right into the hands of the Democrats.”
Many of Beutler’s and Cheney’s impeachment colleagues on the right will not be returning to Congress next year. In June, Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina succumbed to a Trump-backed challenger, while Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois all opted to retire at the end of the term rather than seek re-election.