Six-term Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, a moderate House Republican from Washington state who voted in favor of Donald Trump’s second impeachment, conceded in her primary election Tuesday night.
Secretary of State results as of Tuesday had her coming in third in the primary, barely missing being one of the top two vote-getters who would move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. Though she conceded Tuesday, Herrera Beutler’s primary was Aug. 2. Washington allows vote by mail, which can extend the time needed to tabulate results.
“Ever since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country. Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home,” Herrera Beutler said in her concession statement, according to The Washington Post.
Herrera Beutler’s loss brings to three the number of pro-impeachment House Republicans who have lost their primaries so far this campaign season, along with Peter Meijer of Michigan and Tom Rice of South Carolina. They may soon be joined by Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has been one of the most visible Trump opponents in the GOP and who faces voters Aug. 16.
Another impeachment supporter, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), recently survived his primary and is headed to the general election.
Herrera Beutler was known as one of the more moderate House Republicans as she represented her southwest Washington district. In addition to being one of the 10 pro-impeachment Republicans in the House, Herrera Beutler provided one of the more colorful behind-the-scenes accounts of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s role that day.
Herrera Beutler said she witnessed McCarthy’s side of a call between him and Trump in which Trump told McCarthy the attackers were anti-fascists, known as antifa, and not Trump supporters. McCarthy denied that, saying they had come through his office’s windows, sending his staff running for cover.
“And the president’s response to Kevin, to me, was chilling. He said, ‘Well, Kevin, I guess they’re just more upset about the election, you know, theft than you are,’” she said in an audio recording played as part of a presentation by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.
“You know, you’ve seen widespread reports of Kevin McCarthy and the president having a, basically a swearing conversation. That’s when the swearing commenced,” she said on the recording.
The district is considered safely Republican, meaning Herrera Beutler will likely be replaced by Joe Kent, a Trump supporter and Republican who held the second spot in the voting Tuesday night.
“You know, you’ve seen widespread reports of Kevin McCarthy and the president having a, basically a swearing conversation. That’s when the swearing commenced”
– Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.)
Kent has been critical of Herrera Beutler’s impeachment votes and took to Twitter to criticize the law enforcement search of Trump’s Florida home on Monday.
“We must bring the national security state to heel or we won’t have a country anymore. This has to be our top priority in 2023. We start with the FBI & DOJ,” he tweeted.
Trump, who endorsed Kent, gloated about Herrera Beutler’s loss Tuesday night.
“Importantly, he knocked out yet another impeacher, Jaime Herrera Beutler, who so stupidly played right into the hands of the Democrats,” he said in a statement.
Kent will face Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in the November election.
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