GOP’s Joe Kent concedes Washington state Congressional race

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent has officially conceded the race to represent Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District after his defeat in November by Rep.-elect Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.

Kent said Wednesday that he called Democrat Gluesenkamp Perez to concede and offer his congratulations on her victory, The Columbian reported. The acknowledgement came after counties in the southwestern district concluded individual machine recounts, per Kent’s request.

The recount results showed that Gluesenkamp Perez won the race with 50.14% of the vote, leading Kent’s 49.31%. In the recount, she gained nine votes while he gained five.

“I promised during the campaign that I would accept the outcome of the election, now definitively determined as the recount has concluded,” Kent wrote in a statement. “This morning, I called my opponent to concede and offer my congratulations on her victory.”

Kent also said the Republican party cannot continue to lose the voter turnout battle, that it must adapt and that he looked forward to “helping lead this change.”

Gluesenkamp Perez said Wednesday on Twitter that she’s glad Kent accepted his loss. “Democracy is alive and well in our corner of the country,” she wrote.

The 3rd District narrowly voted for Donald Trump in 2020 and had been represented by Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. She failed to make it through the state’s top two primary after her vote to impeach Trump for his role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

Gluesenkamp Perez — who co-owns an auto shop with her husband just across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon — said that as a small business owner who lives in a rural part of the district, she was more aligned with voters than Kent, who repeatedly had to explain his connections to right-wing extremists.

The Washington secretary of state’s office is anticipated to recertify the election results this week.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.