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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Herrera Beutler’s lead over Kent halved in latest ballot returns

Two Republicans are vying for the second spot in the November election

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer, and
Lauren Ellenbecker, Columbian staff writer
Published: August 4, 2022, 7:06pm

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s lead over fellow Republican Joe Kent was cut in half Thursday in the latest round of ballots counted in the 3rd Congressional District race.

As of Thursday evening, Herrera Beutler led Kent by 1,945 votes for the second position in November’s general election, down 50.5 percent from a 3,930-vote lead the day before. Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has already secured a spot in the November election.

There were no other significant changes in any races or money measures on Tuesday’s ballot.

Perez leads with 49,202 votes, or 31.05 percent of the vote. She is the top vote getter so far in Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific and Skamania counties. Herrera Beutler is in second, with 36,854 votes, or 23.26 percent of the vote. She is the top vote-getter only in Wahkaikum County.

“I think that this is a year in which voters are saying enough is enough, and they are tired of the establishment and the incumbents who (are) a do-nothing Congress,” Perez said. “I think that people are going to put results ahead of partisanship in general.”

Perez said the results are notable, since her campaign has gathered about $240,000, while Herrera Beutler has $3.5 million on hand, Kent holds $2.2 million and Heidi St. John, who is in fourth place with 24,808 votes and 15.65 percent of the vote, peaked over $1 million.

Perez said this achievement illustrates her outreach and messaging to voters, or “holding a mirror to the situation,” is working.

Kent remains in third place, with 34,909 votes, or 22.03 percent of the total. He is the top vote-getter in Lewis and Thurston counties. His campaign declined comment.

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The new vote count comes with about 45,000 votes left to count in Clark County, the most populous county in the 3rd District. County Auditor Greg Kimsey said all the county’s ballots should be tallied by Aug. 9.

Voter turnout in Clark County rose to 30.03 percent, although Kimsey said that will likely climb throughout the rest of the week. Election results will be certified on Aug. 16; Kimsey said ballots coming in late can still be counted until Aug. 15 as long as they were postmarked by Aug. 2.

The next round of updates from the county will be posted around 5 p.m. today.

Washington Legislature

In the state legislative races, Democrat Terri Niles’ lead in the 17th District Position 1 race narrowed slightly from 45.41 percent of votes to 44.05 percent. Niles received 14,421 votes to Republican candidate Kevin Waters’ 7,688 votes.

In the 17th District Position 2 race, Democrat Joe Kear widened his lead over incumbent state Rep. Paul Harris by a 4,786-vote lead. Kear has 14,695 votes to Harris’ 9,909 votes. Both will advance to the general election.

In the 18th District, Position 2, Democrat Duncan Camacho has a 8,362-vote lead over Republican Greg Cheney. Camacho received 14,279 votes to Cheney’s 6,367.

Clark County Council

There was little change in the Clark County Council District 1 race, with Glen Yung still in the lead and Hector Hinojosa coming in next. Yung has 6,230 votes, or 45.66 percent. Hinojosa has 4,382 votes or 32.12 percent. Doug Coop is trailing with 3,032 votes or 22.22 percent.

Michelle Belkot widened her lead in the District 2 race, receiving 8,126 votes, or 44.03 percent. Chartisha Roberts looks to take the second spot in the general election with 6,536 votes, or 35.42 percent. Kim Hamlik has 3,792 votes, or 20.55 percent.

Although her margin narrowed slightly, Ridgefield’s Sue Marshall still leads in the District 5 race. She received 7,586 votes or 32.37 percent, with former state legislator Don Benton receiving 6,455 votes or 27.54 percent. Thursday’s totals gave former law enforcement officer Rick Torres 5,843 votes and current District 5 Councilor Richard Rylander Jr. 3,551 votes.

Levies and Propositions

All seven measures on the ballot, which includes levies for the La Center and Ridgefield school districts, and levies for Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and Clark County Fire Protection districts, appear to have been passed by voters.

Proposition 11, the county’s 0.1 percent public safety sales tax, saw its lead drop slightly with Thursday’s results but was still passing by a comfortable margin. Thursday’s ballot totals showed the measure receiving 55,202 votes in favor, or 59.85 percent. That’s down from the 60.44 percent of votes in Tuesday’s returns.