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Thanks to her decision to vote to impeach President Donald Trump last month, Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a 10-year House Republican, now faces what may perhaps be the toughest primary challenge of her political career.
For it’s one thing to be challenged by some random schmo — it’s another to be challenged by a virulently pro-Trump Green Beret veteran and Gold Star husband like Joe Kent.
In a video published to YouTube and also shared on social media this Thursday, Kent announced that he intends to challenge Beutler in the 2022 race.
“I’m Joe Kent. I’m an ‘America First’ Republican running for Congress in Washington State’s 3rd congressional district to primary Jaime Herrera Beutler. I’m primarying Jaime Herrera Beutler because she voted for the impeachment of President Trump against the will of the people of this district,” he said.
Beutler not only voted for Trump’s impeachment but also later interfered in his Senate trial by suddenly claiming she’d been briefed about some Jan. 6th phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in which the then-president had allegedly been dismissive of the Capitol riot.
Her behavior already leaves her in a weak spot come 2022. Coupled with Kent’s incredible record, it could just be enough to unseat her.
Learn more about his past by listening to the interview below courtesy Special Operations Forces Report (SOFREP), a military news magazine:
“Kent is a former Army Ranger who went on to join the Fifth Special Forces where he logged eleven combat tours in Iraq and elsewhere. Kent rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer before leaving the SOF community,” SOFREP reported last year.
“In addition to his decades of service in U.S. Army Special Operations, Kent is also a Gold Star husband. His wife, Shannon Kent, was a U.S. Navy intelligence operative who was killed while serving in Syria in 2019.”
And unlike Beutler, who reportedly refused to vote for Trump in 2016 and then refused to back his effort in 2017 to repeal Obamacare, it appears Kent had been on board the “Make America Trump” train the whole time through.
In a column written for the Military Times last year, Kent recalled being enchanted in 2016 by Trump’s vision for pulling America out of the wars overseas.
“Trump’s blunt, brutal honesty spoke to me and millions of Americans. As Trump crashed his way onto the political scene, I was in Iraq serving on my ninth combat deployment as a Green Beret,” he wrote.
“Trump’s view of the war on terror accurately reflected the truth on the ground. I was in Iraq to help fight ISIS, with major limitations on how much combat power we could leverage against ISIS.”
Trump’s disruption of the failed political status quo & staunch defense of the foundations of our nation has earned him my support.
Please give my latest a read – https://t.co/kb1JiG3jaG
— Joe Kent for WA-3 (@joekent16jan19) September 11, 2020
Nearly four years later, his support had grown so much that he didn’t even think twice about voting for Trump again.
“As we head to November the unrest on our streets and the building insurrection is hard to overlook. On one side is Trump, who has shown the ability to use force while suing for peace abroad and taking restrained steps to restore order at home,” he explained.
“On the other side is Biden, who can only point at Trump’s personal flaws, promising to restore an old, failed order while running cover for the radical left as they seek to destroy the foundations of our nation. For me, the choice could not be clearer,” Kent added.
Speaking about his candidacy Friday on the “Lars Larson Show,” Kent accused Beutler of having “stabbed us in the back” and pointed out how her district had voted overwhelmingly for Trump both in 2016 and 2020.
“I don’t know what she was thinking, but we need to get some actual qualified representation of this district into D.C. to push back hard against the far-left policies that are coming from D.C.,” he said.
Note what he said about pushing back against the far-left. In concluding his announcement video on YouTube, he echoed this same sentiment.
“I’m running to push back against the status quo, the far left and the establishment in their effort to halt the progress made by President Trump for the great working men and women of this district. It’s essential that we in the third district fight back now,” he said.
“I want to earn your support and go forward to fight for you in Congress just like I fought for this country for over 20 years in Special Forces and over the course of 11 combat deployments. The entire time I was fighting or this country, I lived by the motto, ‘If not when, but now? If not me, then who?’ Send me.”
He later released another video Friday going into greater detail about his vision: