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Saturday, March 2, 2024
March 2, 2024

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Tulsi Gabbard campaigns with ‘fellow veteran’ Joe Kent in Bucoda


CENTRALIA — Former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard made a stop in Bucoda Sunday afternoon to campaign alongside Joe Kent, the Republican candidate facing Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in the race to represent Washington’s 3rd congressional district.

Gabbard, who recently left the Democratic Party and became an independent, served in Congress representing Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021 and was a candidate for president in 2020.

Like Kent, she served in the military, completing service through the Hawaii Army National Guard. She deployed to Iraq with a field medical unit from 2004 to 2005 and was stationed in Kuwait from 2008 to 2009.

“The reason I am here and not back home in Hawaii is because our very freedom and our very future is at stake in this election,” Gabbard told the crowd in Bucoda. “And I do not use those words lightly.”

After recognizing Kent as a “fellow veteran,” she said the Biden administration and Democrats are undermining “God-given rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution,” saying they are working with large technology companies and social media to do so.

Gabbard claimed the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security had been “weaponized and politicized” against opponents.

“I am confident that Joe Kent is going to go to Washington and will continue to be the courageous voice he has already been for so long,” Gabbard said.

She noted Kent has conducted 260 town hall events in the district since announcing his candidacy.

“He’s going to continue that because he knows that when you send him to Congress, he works for you. He is accountable to you,” she said, later adding: “Joe knows more than almost anybody what’s important in life. He knows what it means to put the mission first. He knows what it means to live those warrior ethos, of never leaving one of our own behind. Life is short. Life is short. Joe has dedicated his entire life to serving and fighting for us, fighting for this country.”

Kent and Gabbard each chipped away at Gluesenkamp Perez’ claims of being a moderate Democrat, claiming she provides different answers to interest groups behind closed doors than she does in debates before the public.

Gabbard said her “deep concern is we will get to a point we can’t come back from as a country.”

“I’m here because we are facing a critical juncture in this country,” she said.

Gabbard asked attendees to reach out to neighbors, friends and family members to ask them to support Kent.

“It’s real, man. It’s not political talking points. It’s not just another race. Now is our time to lead,” she said.

In introducing Gabbard, Kent thanked the crowd for supporting him and helping him defeat incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican who voted to impeach Donald Trump following the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Tulsi has been speaking truth to power now for well over a decade now,” Kent said. “She recently did something very, very brave and moved away from her party to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all of us. At the end of the day, none of this is about political party. This is about us as Americans taking our country back.”