Race for Third Congressional District intensifies

Plenty of news from the campaigns of candidates Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Joe Kent as Nov. 8 general election nears

The race for U.S. Representative in the Third Congressional District continues to intensify.

Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Republican Joe Kent participated in two more candidate forum events in recent days. On Saturday, the candidates participated in an event hosted by the League of Women Voters of Clark County. Today (Oct. 18), the candidates were scheduled to appear at an event hosted by the Woodland Chamber of Commerce.

Here’s several recent news items regarding this race and the two candidates: 

Voter registration status of Marie Gluesenkamp Perez

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez
Marie Gluesenkamp Perez

On Oct. 7, Clark County Today reported that Perez was registered to vote in both Oregon, where she operates a business with her husband, and Washington, where she resides in Skamania County.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey told Clark County Today that even though Perez is a Skamania County resident, he contacted the Washington Secretary of State’s Office. Officials from that office then contacted the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office to inquire about Perez’ voting status.

Kimsey was informed by Washington officials that Perez’ voter registration in Oregon was canceled on Oct. 11. He also was told that Perez had not voted in Oregon since 2012.

Kent campaign reportedly violated League’s debate rules

Joe Kent
Joe Kent

According to a news release from the League of Women Voters of Clark County, Joe Kent’s campaign has violated the ground rules for the Third Congressional District debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Saturday.

The campaigns of both Kent and opponent Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez agreed in advance not to use edited video for campaign purposes, said Clark County League president Nancy Halvorson.

But three posts uploaded after the debate on the Joe Kent for WA-3 Twitter account feature heavily edited portions of the video. One links to an 11-minute interview with Republican media figure Steve Bannon that opens with more than two minutes of juxtaposed, unflattering close-ups of Perez from the debate.

Bannon referred to the edited video as “powerful” when he began his interview with Kent.

The Twitter account on Sunday also featured a 59-second clip of Kent’s debate closing statement.  And on Monday, the same account featured an 82-second composite of clips from the debate video. The latter included splices of audio and video of President Biden and of the debate moderator cautioning the audience to refrain from outbursts.

Kent’s campaign agreed to the ground rules, which stated:  “Any campaign use of the recording must include the full debate. No candidate will be allowed to edit the footage for campaign purposes.”

“The League’s goal always is to provide voters with information about candidates and issues so they can make informed decisions,” Halvorson said. “Our organization has a long history of being a valuable resource for voters but we do not exist to provide fodder for political campaigns.”

The League asked Kent’s campaign to remove the posts but it had not done so by Tuesday morning.

Perez campaign reports fundraising success

As reported in FEC filings over the weekend, the Perez campaign has raised nearly $2.2 million in the 3rd quarter, and more than $2 million since the Aug. 2 primary. The Perez campaign claims it has outraised Kent by about a 3-1 margin over the last three months.

Perez raised $2,182,117.47 during the July, August, September third fundraising quarter. This total includes $2,146,028.25 raised between July 14 and the end of September as reported in the Q3 FEC report, as well as $36,089.22 raised between July 1 and July 13 already reported in a pre-primary FEC report.

Her fundraising took off after Kent ousted Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler in the primary. After raising more than $600,000 in August, fundraising for the Perez campaign continued to surge, with more than $1.3 million raised in September. Even with the increased financial support for Perez’ campaign, the district’s expensive TV market means the campaign’s reported cash on hand at the end of September was less than $800,000.

Some Perez donors called into question

Two people stand out the most on the list of donors for Perez’ campaign – one because of the person’s previous donations to a health center that may offer dangerous drugs and surgeries to minors, and the other because of his self-professed appreciation of socialism.

Bill Dickey is the owner of Morel Ink and a June 2022 donor of Perez’. In 2016, he also donated $50,000 to the Cascade AIDS Project for the building of Prism Health, which is a health center aimed at serving the LGBTQ community. Prism Health offers what they call “Gender-Affirming Care,” including hormone therapy, referrals to “gender affirming surgeries,” Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) therapy, and behavior health therapy to people of “all ages,” according to the National Provider Identifier website. Their own policy says that they will not “discriminate” against any patient based on age, along with many other factors such as race and immigration status. The website does not clarify that it will inform a minor’s parents regarding their potential to change their gender via hormones, or irreversibly via surgery, although an email inquiry revealed that the health center only sees patients from the age of 15.

When asked about her support for gender-affirming care, a spokesperson for the Perez campaign said, “Marie believes that medical decisions should be made by patients and their families in consultation with their doctors, working within established professional guidelines and best practices.” The campaign declined to elaborate when asked specifically about minors, parental consent, and irreversible surgeries.

Kent had much more to say on the matter. He said, “Irreversible surgeries that permanently castrate minors is abhorrent and I will introduce legislation to outlaw it. It’s disappointing that my opponent not only supports these procedures without parental consent but that her campaign is financed by those who are complicit in this crime. The people of our district want a representative who will oppose this mutilation of our children and will defend parental rights.”

The second questionable Perez donor is Larry Kerschner, who donated to her campaign in July of 2022. Kerschner has a colorful social media history, which includes posts pointing towards socialism as the answer to all of America’s problems. This conjoined with Perez’s mechanic shop (Dean’s Car Care) assisting bad actors during the riotous Portland summer of 2020 gives concern to her government beliefs. In a previous debate with Kent, Perez said she was offended when it was suggested she supported Antifa or their goals during the riots and beyond. However, her company offering “pro bono” repairs of leaf blowers (which were widely used by Antifa to blow law enforcement pepper spray away from rioters) potentially discredits that statement. The Instagram post read, “If you and your leaf blower have been getting busy supporting human rights, we’d like to do what we can to help keep that little machine working right (pro bono) shoot us an email and check your fluids.”

Perez has previously called the allegations of her supporting Antifa a “disingenuous and ridiculously misleading attack.” A campaign statement said in part, “In 2020, as tear gas and pepper spray were causing harm to Portland residents, an employee at Marie’s shop once wrote an Instagram post offering to repair broken leaf blowers. That’s it.”

When asked for clarity on her stance regarding socialism given the donor information, the Perez Campaign said, “Marie is a capitalist, and as a small business owner knows first hand [sic] the opportunities that our economic system creates to provide good jobs and a decent standard of living.”

Leah Anaya contributed to the information in this report.

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  1. Nike

    Ok, IF I read this article correctly, Perez has been registered to VOTE in TWO States (Oregon and Washington), and ONLY contacted the authorities to remove her voter registration AFTER being outed as a “double voter” (October 11, 2022 per this article). Isn’t that voter fraud? And, on top of that, our “glorious”, and been in the office FAR TOO LONG Auditor Kimsey didn’t check on the Voter Rolls. Oh, wait, she’s a democrat! Nothing to see here folks, keep moving….

    1. Molly Jo

      And the article clearly states that she hasn’t voted in Oregon since 2012. If she’s only voting where she currently resides (not voting in both places), I wouldn’t consider that fraud.
      It’s entirely possible she didn’t know she was still registered to vote in Oregon.


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