Democrat Perez tops Kent to flip the 3rd Congressional District

Major news outlets call race as late-arriving votes for Kent only nibble away at her lead

timestamp icon
category icon Latest News, News
Democratic nominee for Washington’s Third Congressional District Marie Gluesenkamp Perez speaks to supporters Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the Clark County Democrats election night watch party at the Downtown Vancouver Hilton. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian)

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff writer
Published on November 12, 2022, 6:30pm
Updated: November 13, 2022, 12:12pm

Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has flipped Washington’s 3rd Congressional District after new vote tallies from Clark and Thurston counties Saturday show her fending off a late comeback attempt from Republican Joe Kent.

The race was called by the Associated Press, Seattle Times, New York Times, CNN, ABC and NBC late Saturday afternoon, with Perez leading by 4,621 votes. Perez had 154,169 votes, or 50.47 percent, while Kent had 149,548 votes, or 48.96 percent. Write-in votes accounted for 1,238 votes, or 0.62 percent of the 199,938 votes counted so far.

Perez, an auto shop owner and Skamania County resident, declared victory in a statement, in which she called the race a “bellwether for the direction of our politics and the strength of our democracy.”

“I am humbled and honored by the vote of confidence the people of Southwest Washington have put in me and my campaign,” Perez wrote in the statement. “Right up to the end, far-away pundits and prognosticators said this race couldn’t be won. They dismissed the possibility that a moderate Democrat focused on prioritizing the needs of this district over partisan point scoring could win in a rural, working class district.”

Kent, who made it to the general election with a surge of late support in the August primary, has not seen a similar surge against Perez. On Saturday, he gained only 338 votes on Perez, who still led by 4,621, according to the Secretary of State’s website.