Former President Donald Trump wants Southwest Washington voters to know his favorite candidate in the August primary election for Congress in the region is Joe Kent.
Kent, a former U.S. Army Green Beret, has been a front-runner in a packed race for Washington’s Third Congressional District. He is one of four Republicans seeking to unseat fellow Republican and U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, alongside Democrats and others.
Kent received Trump’s endorsement last year and has consistently been in the top-two of fundraisers for this year’s election, behind only Herrera Beutler.
During a telephone-based “rally” on July 25, Kent and Trump both spoke to callers about the upcoming primary election on Aug. 2. Kent called Trump “a personal inspiration.” He first met the former president at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware after his wife, Shannon, was killed along with three other Americans in a suicide bombing in Syria in January of 2019. Kent’s wife was a cryptologist with the U.S. Navy.
Kent said he is honored to try to unseat Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, “who not only voted for President Trump’s impeachment, but also has voted against the American people every single step of the way.”
Kent introduced the 45th president of the United States, noting he is also “the 46th, and probably the 47th.” Kent referenced Trump’s questioning of the 2020 election results and Trump’s potential to run again in 2024.
“It’s so important to get out and vote for Joe Kent in Washington’s Third Congressional District. He’s outstanding,” Trump said.
He reflected on his first meeting with Kent at Dover, saying his wife “was an incredible person, and a warrior, very much like Joe.”
After about 30 minutes of talking with Kent at Dover, Trump told Kent he should consider running for office in honor of his wife.
“He’s a retired Green Beret, a tough cookie with a big, fat, beautiful heart,” Trump said.
Kent is the only candidate with the former president’s “total endorsement,” Trump noted.
“Others are trying to say that they have my endorsement and they absolutely don’t. I don’t even know them,” Trump said.
He then turned his attention to Herrera Beutler, who he called a RINO, or a Republican in name only. Trump said she isn’t a respected person in Congress.
“She fights for the Washington swamp, not for the Washington state,” Trump said.
Trump said Herrera Beutler is akin to “fake Republicans” like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger in Congress, two representatives who are involved with the investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The former president said Kent would go on to do “tremendous things,” if he is elected. Trump said Kent would fight against the “radical Democrat, socialist spending spree” and would be able to stop the “runaway inflation” the country is experiencing.
Trump added Kent would also address illegal immigration and protect the First and Second Amendments, and noted Kent wouldn’t defund police.
Trump said recent rulings including the overturning of Roe v. Wade were “great decisions” by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said Kent would work to “ban” critical race theory in schools, and would address controversy that allows transgender athletes in competitions.
“We’re not going to have men playing women’s sports. (It’s) so unfair and so disrespectful to women,” Trump said.
Finally, Trump pointed to Kent’s support of the idea that the 2020 election was rigged against the former president.
“The election was a disgrace and everyone knows it,” Trump said.
Alongside Herrera Beutler, Kent also faces fellow Republicans Heidi St. John, Leslie French and Vicki Kraft, as well as Democrats Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Davy Ray, American Solidarity Party candidate Oliver Black and independent candidate Chris Byrd.
The deadline for the primary election is 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.
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