Jaime Herrera Beutler becomes 12th U.S. House member to lose a primary election this year

On August 15, 2022, media outlets called the top-two primary for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D) and Joe Kent (R) advanced with 31.0% and 22.8% of the vote, respectively. Incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) finished third with 22.2%.

Herrera Beutler is the 12th member of the U.S. House to lose an election this cycle. With more primaries and all general elections remaining, 2022 is now even with the 2016 election cycle for the number of incumbent losses. In the past five election cycles, 2018 saw the most incumbent losses (34), followed by 2012 (27).

Herrera Beutler was one of 10 Republican representatives to vote in favor of impeaching then-President Donald Trump (R) on January 13, 2021. In a statement the day before the vote, Herrera Beutler said she would vote to impeach Trump because he “incited a riot intended to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. That riot led to five deaths.” Herrera Beutler was publicly rebuked by the Washington Republican Party and censured by the Clark County Republican Party.

Kent identified himself as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of Trump and candidates who say they support Trump’s agenda. Kent said that he got into elected politics because of the January 2021 impeachment vote. Trump endorsed Kent on July 26, 2022. During a virtual campaign event, Trump said, “[Herrera Beutler] voted for the radical Democrats second impeachment hoax where the Republicans stood up tall for me but she didn’t.”

Washington uses a top-two primary system, in which all candidates appear on the same ballot, for congressional and state-level elections. The top two vote-getters move on to the general election, regardless of their party affiliation.