Image for Herrera Beutler Survives Far-Right Challenge in Primary
Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, left, leads in preliminary vote-counting to qualify for the general election contest to represent Washington’s Third District. Six-term incumbent Jamie Herrera Beutler, right, appears to have staved off a challenge from several far-right Republicans and will face Perez in November. Photo Credit: OPB

Six-Term Congresswoman Trails Democratic Challenger in Voting

Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler appears to have outrun several far-right challengers to make it to the general election in November in Washington’s top-two primary on Tuesday. Votes are still being counted, so final results won’t be known for several days.

Beutler, who was elected in 2010 after serving three terms in the Washington Legislature, faced Trumpist challengers in this year’s primary after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump. Her primary campaign was aided by a well-funded negative ad campaign against Trump-endorsed challenger Joe Kent, who came in third place. The negative ads were financed by supporters of another conservative Beutler opponent, Heidi St. John, who polled fourth.

The Third District primary election leader is Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, 34, who lives in Skamania County and runs an auto repair shop in Portland. In initial vote tallies, Perez lead Beutler by seven percentage points with almost 32 percent of the vote. Republican primary candidates collectively received more than 60 percent of the vote. The big question is whether the nearly 40 percent of primary voters who supported far right Republicans will vote for Beutler in the general election.

The top two primary, sometimes called a “jungle primary”, is intended to advance the two most attractive candidates, regardless of party affiliation. In the Third District, it has produced a typical Democrat versus Republican contest.

The other closely watched Washington primary race was in the Fourth District, which stretches from Yakima and Kennewick in the south to the state border with Canada on the north. Incumbent GOP Congressman Dan Newhouse, who also voted to impeach Trump after the January 6 insurrection, has a slight lead that should ensure he makes it to the general election ballot to face off against Democratic challenger Doug White.

The top two primary, sometimes called a “jungle primary”, is intended to advance the two most attractive candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

Senator Patty Murray, who was elected to the Senate in 1992, breezed to a spot on the November ballot with 54 percent of the early vote count in the primary. She will face GOP challenger Tiffany Smiley, who gained prominence for pushing for adequate care for her husband seriously injured in a suicide bombing while serving in the US Army in Iraq.

Democrat Steve Hobbs, a political moderate who was appointed secretary of state to replace Kim Wyman after she joined the Biden administration, collected more than 41 percent of the primary vote and could face either independent Julie Anderson or Republicans Bob Hagglund or Keith Wagoner, who each received around 12 percent of the vote.

Find a detailed report on Washington primary election results at