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Newhouse, who voted to impeach Trump, advances to Washington district general election, AP projects

Written by Javed Iqbal

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Rep. Dan Newhouse, one of the 10 Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, has advanced to the general election, surviving a challenge from a candidate backed by the former president.

Newhouse advanced from Tuesday’s all-party primary in Washington’s 4th Congressional District, the Associated Press predicted Friday. He will face Democrat Doug White, who was also predicted by the Associated Press to advance to the general election on Friday.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) in the adjacent 3rd District in a tight battle with Joe Kent, a Trump-endorsed veteran who has called people arrested in the Jan. 6 probe “political prisoners.”

Under Washington state’s nonpartisan primary system, all candidates are listed on the same primary ballot, regardless of party, and the top two candidates advance to the general election. Although somewhat unique in their format, the Washington state primaries served as the latest test of Republicans’ ability to survive his efforts to unseat them.

Of the other GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump, four announced they would retire from Congress. Rep. Tom Rice (SC) and Peter Meijer (Mich.) lost their primaries, while Rep. David G. Valadao (Calif.) survived his all-party primary.

The Aug. 16 primary election in Wyoming will decide the political fate of the group’s last lawmaker, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who is the vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had spent money helping the conservative challengers to both Meijer and Valadao, and is targeting both districts in November. The national party is not focused on Washington’s 4th Congressional District, the most reliably Republican part of the state, which Trump carried in 2020 by nearly 20 points.

In that district, Newhouse faced Trump-endorsed challenger Loren Culp.

In Herrera Beutler’s 3rd District race, the candidate claiming the second election seat will face Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto repair shop owner who AP has predicted will advance.

Newhouse and Herrera Beutler had spent significantly more than their opponents and hoped to take advantage of a crowded field of pro-Trump challengers. Both lost significant Republican support since their 2020 re-election, winning more than 50 percent of all party primary votes.

Herrera Beutler has also spoken publicly about a key phone call during the Capitol attack between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Trump had “initially repeated the lie that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,” Herrera Beutler said McCarthy told her.

According to Herrera Beutler, after McCarthy told Trump that it was his supporters who stormed the Capitol, Trump replied, “Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

Culp, a former sheriff and gubernatorial candidate endorsed by Trump, predicted in an interview before the election that Newhouse would struggle to unify Republican voters. The district, he said, wanted more conservative representation than Newhouse had provided.

“Everybody I talk to is tired of him,” Culp said. “Not only did he vote to impeach President Trump and vote for the Commission on January 6, but he’s voted for anti-gun laws, he’s voted for big government spending.”

When it came to Herrera Beutler’s primary, national Democrats didn’t spend money, seeing a southwest Washington district that voted for Trump by a single-digit margin as a tough target in a midterm period when the party is on the defensive. While Herrera Beutler regularly ran ahead of the GOP ticket, Kent said in an interview that the popularity of Trump and his agenda was underestimated.

“No Republican voter wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Gosh, what are Kevin McCarthy and Lindsey Graham saying about the issues of the day?’ Kent said. “They’re looking for the ‘America First’ message coming from Trump, coming from Matt Gaetz, coming from Marjorie Taylor Greene,” he added, naming some far-right members of Congress who have polarized.

In an interview, Perez said the seat could be won in a race against Kent, who she called a “classic package of good hair and bad ideas.”

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Javed Iqbal

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