by Garrett Frisk
In the 2022 cycle, one of the most hotly contested House seats was Washington's 3rd congressional district. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a moderate Republican who had long been a target for Democrats, shocked the world by voting for Donald Trump's second impeachment in 2021. Multiple MAGA Republicans announced they'd run against her in 2022, with the leading challenger being technology project manager and retired Green Beret Joe Kent, who had Trump's endorsement. In the top-two jungle primary, the top spot went to a Democrat, auto repair shop owner Marie Gluesenkamp Perez; in a photo finish, Kent took the second spot in the general election, narrowly boxing out Herrera Beutler. Many assumed that Kent had the race wrapped up, given that Trump carried the 3rd district by 4.5% in 2020. But after Kent's ties to far-right extremists were uncovered, Gluesenkamp Perez's campaign picked up steam. She ended up beating him by 0.6% in a shocking upset, becoming one of only five House Democrats representing a district that Trump won in 2020.
Going into 2024, the 3rd district will once again be a fierce battleground. The only question is: which Republican will be the one to take on Gluesenkamp Perez? There are undoubtedly many Republicans considering a campaign, but Gluesenkamp Perez's opponent may end up being one of three Republicans who unsuccessfully ran for the 3rd district in 2022. Joe Kent has already declared he'll make a second run against Gluesenkamp Perez; his campaign website can be found here. Businessman Leslie French is also in the race; in 2022, he was the lowest-placing Republican in the jungle primary, taking 0.5% of the vote. His website can be found here. Finally, Jaime Herrera Beutler is reportedly considering a bid to retake her seat, though she is also weighing a gubernatorial run. Whichever Republican claims the second spot in the general election, the 3rd district race is sure to be closely watched, and both Republicans and Democrats alike have listed it among their highest-priority districts.