Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Feb. 1, 2023

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Kent misses campaign finance filing deadline, blames technical issues

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Joe Kent failed to submit personal finance records to the House Ethics Committee on time, violating federal law.

Kent’s campaign team blamed unspecified technical issues for interfering with submitting his documents on time. Candidates are required to submit their personal financial information through the U.S. House of Representatives filing system after raising or spending $5,000 in campaign money, according to the House guidelines.

Details about the violation and the campaign’s response were first reported Thursday by the news website Business Insider. Kent did not respond to a request for comment to The Columbian on Friday.

Financial disclosures include notes on assets, debt, employment and additional income information.

The Federal Election Commission reported that Kent raised close to $1.4 million in 2021, surpassing the established threshold midway through the year. His tardiness violated the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, a measure created to fight insider trading.

Those who disclose their personal finances past the deadline may be subject to a $200 late fee, which is paid to the U.S. Treasury. Candidates who “knowingly and willfully” fail to file a statement can face an investigation by the Department of Justice.

Kent’s report, filed on Feb. 2, showed his earned income from his current full-time job, a U.S. Army pension and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability payments.

He also received survivor benefits from his wife Shannon Kent, a U.S. Navy cryptologist who was killed in a suicide bombing during her service in Syria. According to the disclosure, he also received an advance to write a book about his late wife.

As the election year progresses, Kent continues to host fundraising events, such as a Mar-Aa-Lago Club outing that cost a minimum of $1,000 to attend.

Not all candidates for the congressional district submitted personal financial disclosures since they had not met the financial threshold by filing time. This includes Democrat Brent Hennrich and state Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, who announced her candidacy in late November.

As of Friday, Hennrich’s campaign team said they had contacted the House Ethics Committee to receive the necessary paperwork to publicly report his personal finances.

“It may not all be that interesting, but it will all be there,” he said.

According to Republican Heidi St. John’s disclosure filed in May, she received an income from speaking events and book sales, as well as a commission from an essential oils multilevel marketing company. St. John, a Christian author and podcaster, reported receiving zero funds from an inactive publishing business she partially owns alongside her husband and friends.

In 2020, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, reported receiving interest on a bank account and making payments on loans. Congress members submit their personal finances each May for the previous year, with financial disclosures from 2021 being underway in the spring.

More information on candidates’ campaign earnings and spending can be found at FEC.gov.

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