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Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in Washington flips key House seat

Democratic candidate Marie Gluesenkamp Perez won the U.S. House seat for Washington state's 3rd Congressional District in the 2022 election.
Rachel La Corte
/
AP
Democratic candidate Marie Gluesenkamp Perez won the U.S. House seat for Washington state's 3rd Congressional District in the 2022 election.

Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has won election to the U.S. House in Washington state's 3rd Congressional District, according to a race call by The Associated Press, providing Democrats with a notable pickup in their bid to keep the chamber.

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto-shop owner who describes herself as an independent-minded Democrat, beat Republican Joe Kent, a Trump-endorsed candidate with controversial ties to far-right figures.

Kent, an ex-Green Beret, narrowly topped incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in a primary after she drew Trump's ire for being one of 10 House GOP members to vote for his impeachment.

Gluesenkamp Perez supports abortion access and policies to counter climate change, but also said she's a gun owner who opposes a ban on assault-style rifles, though she does support raising the age of purchase for such guns to 21. She wouldn't be a "typical Democrat" in Congress, she said.

"I am humbled and honored by the vote of confidence the people of Southwest Washington have put in me and my campaign," Gluesenkamp Perez said in a statement.

It's a notable pickup because the Cook Political Report had labeled the district as "lean Republican." It's the first race in a "lean" column so far to be won by the other party.

The 3rd District covers the southwest corner of Washington state, along the Oregon border.

Material from The Associated Press was included in this report.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR's Washington Desk
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