Incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, proved establishment Republicans still have sway in Southwest Washington as she garnered more votes than her two opponents, one with Tea Party leanings, in Tuesday’s primary for the 3rd Congressional District.
Herrera Beutler pulled in 48.37 percent of the vote. Her Democratic challenger, Bob Dingethal, will advance to the primary with Herrera Beutler after receiving 38.76 percent of the vote. Michael Delavar, a Republican challenger who was inspired by the ousting of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by a Tea Party opponent in the Virginia primary, looks to be out of the race after receiving only 12.87 percent of the vote.
Herrera Beutler is campaigning for her third term in Congress. She has based her campaign on being the local congresswoman, the one who will work hardest for Southwest Washington.
Herrera Beutler said she spent Tuesday at the Clark County Fair with her daughter and met several young women who told her she was doing a good job.
“I was feeling encouraged” coming into the race, “but you never know,” she said.
She said she was pleased with the results.
“I want this job, and I’m pleased to see it seems the people want me to do this job,” she said.
One of the loudest criticisms launched at the congresswoman by both her opponents was her decision to stop holding traditional town hall meetings and move toward hosting “community coffees.”
Herrera Beutler said she’s still hoping for Congress to act on overall immigration reform and that she plans to take the role of safety advocate when it comes to the proposed oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver. Herrera Beutler recently voted along with the bulk of her party to sue President Barack Obama over his handling of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Dingethal, whose background includes environmental activism and working as Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Southwest Washington director, said, if elected, he would host frequent town hall meetings.
Dingethal said Tuesday’s results give the race some momentum.
“People came out for me, and I’m really excited,” he said.
Looking forward to November, Dingethal said he plans to give voters more details on votes he would take that differ from the congresswoman.