PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The race for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District drew a lot of attention both locally and nationally.

The 8 p.m. release of counted votes for the district showed a tight race, with Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez taking the early lead over Republican Joe Kent.

With 65% of the vote counted, Perez leads Kent 53% – 47%.

“This race has never been about partisanship,” Perez told KOIN 6 News at her campaign night party. “It’s been a race about patriotism, about believing in the work that happens in the middle. The extremes have gotten so much attention and so much oxygen and we’re tired of it. We want work that happens in the middle. We want to see our lives get better. That’s what this campaign has been about.”

Kent and his campaign representatives declined to make any kind of a statement on Tuesday night.

It is possible no winner will be known Tuesday night, as ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. will still be counted for up to a week.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this race.


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Whoever wins the race for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District will bring immensely different political views to the seat.

Joe Kent is a Trump-backed former Green Beret who has pushed election conspiracy theories and has multiple ties to far-right groups — one of his campaign consultants was a member of the Proud Boys.

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who owns an auto body shop in the district, is a graduate of Reed College. One of the main focuses of her campaign has been to support and secure reproductive freedom.

“In February of 2020, I miscarried at 16 weeks and was told my life was at risk without an immediate abortion, or dilation and evacuation. Planned Parenthood was the only clinic that could see me, and I had to pass through a wall of protestors to get the care that I needed,” she said.

Kent, on the other hand, says that he will fight to “protect the rights of unborn children.” Kent also said he wants to lower individual and corporate federal income taxes.

The winner will replace Jaime Herrera Beutler, who lost her primary bid to Kent after she voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the insurrection of January 6, 2021. She will complete her term in January 2023.

KOIN 6 News will have complete election results after the polls close at 8 p.m.