Another challenger for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District has announced his campaign for the seat. There are now two Democrats and three Republicans trying to unseat 10-year incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground.
The latest candidate, Christopher Maynard of Woodland, said he was compelled to run when he found himself struggling in the working class.
As a young mechanic, Maynard believed his $30,000 annual income could buy him everything he needed to live a decent life. However, it didn’t take Maynard long to realize it was barely enough to support housing costs.
“After years of constantly feeling like I was on the path to what I’ve been told was the American Dream, there was another hurdle,” he said. “I got tired feeling as though nobody was genuinely trying to solve those issues.”
His grassroots campaign is structured around a mission to reduce wealth disparities and build America’s middle class. Maynard, who runs a garage door repair business, said it’s not sustainable to live in America with consistently low wages and high housing costs. Maynard also supports universal health care and pushes for inexpensive higher education.
He described his agenda as being Democratic with Republican-leaning means of achieving those goals.
Maynard joins a large pool of challengers to Herrera Beutler, a majority of whom are running to her right. They are conservative blogger/author Heidi St. John of Vancouver, state Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, and Joe Kent of Yacolt, who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
Many of the candidates have been in the public eye for nearly a year. Kraft announced her candidacy in early December.
Brent Hennrich of Vancouver was the only Democratic challenger for the seat prior to Maynard’s announcement.
“I wish him well in his run and hope that he enjoys this process,” Hennrich said. “It’s definitely a tough process.”
The 3rd Congressional District has teetered between parties for decades. Prior to Herrera Beutler assuming the role in 2011, the seat was held by Democrat Brian Baird for a decade. Their predecessors represented both the Democratic and Republican parties, with the former being more dominant.
Redistricting following the 2010 census cut a portion of liberal Thurston County from the 3rd District. The most recent maps following the 2020 census show the district’s boundaries shrinking, with some conservative rural areas being cut as Clark County’s population grew.
Hennrich and Maynard hold onto hope that the district can be flipped and reduce its political divide.
“Sometimes it feels as though we’re rooting for Democrats and Republicans as though we’re rooting for our favorite team in the Super Bowl,” Maynard said.