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May 15, 2021

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Herrera Beutler wins sixth term as Long concedes race

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, will return to Washington, D.C. for a sixth term in Congress.

Carolyn Long, her Democratic challenger, conceded the race after a second round of ballot returns released Wednesday afternoon showed Herrera Beutler’s election night lead holding steady.

“I am so incredibly proud of the strength of this grassroots campaign. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this incredible effort and those who have supported us with their vote,” Long wrote in a statement.

“I’m proud we ran a campaign based on facts, policy, and the truth. I am someone who believes in running on the issues and leading a campaign based on integrity and trust.”

Across Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, the updated results Wednesday evening echo the outcome on election night. Herrera Beutler’s initial 8.38 percent lead grew slightly, to 9.26 percent.

According to the Washington Secretary of State’s website, approximately 40,000 votes remain to be counted in the district, and Long trails Herrera Beutler by 33,293 ballots. In order to prevail, she would have had to win around 84 percent of the remaining votes.

In Clark County — the only county in the district that Long appeared poised to take Tuesday night — Herrera Beutler now leads Long narrowly. The Republican from Battle Ground has 50.09 percent to Long’s 49.91 percent, or a margin of 417 ballots.

“Thank you, again, to everyone who has supported us and been a part of this effort. I am proud of everything we have accomplished,” Long said.

2020 marked Long’s second run at Herrera Beutler’s seat. In 2018, the Democrat and professor of constitutional law at Washington State University Vancouver lost to the incumbent by around 5 percentage points.

It was the closest challenge of Herrera Beutler’s congressional career. Prior to the 2018 race, she’d won her previous reelection campaigns by 20-point margins.

The unexpectedly close midterm race turned Washington’s 3rd District into something of a lightning rod this year. By the time Long declared her intent to run again, leaders from both the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had put the district on their respective short lists of vulnerable seats.

Then, there was the money: funding poured into both races, totaling $7.85 million by mid-October.

Despite the national attention on the race, Herrera Beutler has proved among the most resilient Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The congresswoman is a red dot on a strip of blue that stretches from Canada to Mexico. She has outlasted every other GOP member of the House on the West Coast — of the 48 contiguous United States, she’s the only Republican to represent a district bordering the Pacific Ocean, after the 2018 “blue wave” swept her remaining colleagues out of office.

She’s also the only Republican woman of color in either chamber of Congress.

“We have our work cut out for us in the next two years to get through this challenging time and return our lives back to normal, but I know we can do it,” Herrera Beutler wrote on her Facebook page on Tuesday evening. “My sleeves are already rolled up, and I’m ready to support our communities to get it done.”

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