Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp and Republican Joe Kent faced off for the second time
For Clark County Today
The two candidates for Washington’s Third Congressional District faced off once more in a forum hosted by four county chapters of the League of Women Voters on Saturday (Oct. 15). Democratic candidate Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Republican candidate Joe Kent appeared for the second time to discuss the issues involved in their campaign..
Perez started things off by pointing out that she’s running for the position because she wants to “fix things,” which is what she does for a living as a vehicle repair small business owner. She said she’s not running to be a political cheerleader for any party and then launched into why people should vote for her: Joe Kent is an extreme politician, she said, because he supports a national ban on abortion with no exceptions, supports defunding the FBI, supports abolishing mail-in voting, and “continues to celebrate the rioting violent mob that attacked our Capitol” on January 6, 2021. “A vote for Joe is a vote for even more chaos and disorder,” Perez stated.
Kent chose to focus on the failings of our nation rather than of the person sitting next to him, bringing up the difficulties thrust upon American families currently at the hands of inflation, and what he referred to as “one-party rule” in Washington, DC, without proper checks and balances. He said he’s running to serve as that much needed check, as well as to honor his late wife who was killed in military service in Syria a month after he believed Americans should have been out of the country. Kent has spent over 20 years of his life serving the country through the military.
The first topic discussed was healthcare. Kent started by saying that although we obviously need to keep the programs for our senior citizens and disabled persons running strong, there is also currently too much federal government involvement in those programs. As he’s done before, Kent brought up the importance of competition to boost a thriving health care program for Americans. Perez said Americans pay some of the highest healthcare costs without the highest “outcomes,” and then said, “We’ve got to do better.”
A question was asked regarding “dangerous wildfires and extreme temperatures…rising sea levels, shrinking salmon runs and flooding.” Perez shared that her house was “almost burned down” a few years ago during the Eagle Creek Fire. “That’s something you don’t forget,” she said, “so climate change is real.” As a reminder to readers, the Eagle Creek Fire of 2017 was caused by a 15-year-old boy and fireworks. Perez continued that the answer to these issues is by supporting green jobs for all trades and federal grants to promote youth going into those trades. Kent answered that he supports conserving natural resources, but not the “rapid conversion to so-called green energy” that Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Jay Inslee have taken us down. The green energy, he continued, is “by and large produced in countries that absolutely hate us like the Chinese Communist Party…so bills that Biden and Pelosi and my opponent support are nothing but a pay day for the Chinese Communist Party.”
Continuing with the topic of wildfires, Kent discussed the importance of not having vaccine mandates on workers, which has caused us to lose many firefighters. “Right now with the wildfires that are raging,” Kent said, “there are firefighters who can’t get out there and put out the fires because they’ve been fired for not taking the vaccine.”
Regarding the labor shortage in the district, Perez said that she thinks it’s a good thing because it’s causing employers to have to increase their wages and treat their workers better to get more employees. This thought process of healthy competition to get a better outcome is very similar to Kent’s proposal for the same in healthcare. Perez also blamed childcare costs being too high as reasons for some people staying home rather than getting jobs. She again mentioned Kent’s intent to stall immigration, calling it “economic sabotage,” and said that if he is elected and his plans are carried out, we will end up with “$40 cranberry sauce on the table.” Kent called Joe Biden out for starting the energy crisis and starting inflation by shutting down pipelines and “killing off US energy,” and then making it worse by enacting the “so-called Inflation Reduction Act,” which Perez had said she would have supported. Kent said on Day 1 he could caucus with other Republicans and “threaten to withhold the federal budget until Biden turns back on US energy.” Kent also clarified his stance on banning immigration, which he said is actually banning “economic immigration,” meaning if a worker’s VISA takes away a job from a US citizen, it’s denied, and the American citizen is prioritized.
Also on immigration, while Perez agreed that there is a crisis at the southern border, her solution was to send federal judges to help try amnesty cases. Kent’s solution was much more actionable, which included building a wall, putting the military in charge of it, and fining South American countries who continue to send illegal immigrants over the border. He discussed the hefty increase of fentanyl coming over the border, which, he said, is the number one killer right now of Americans aged 15-50. Kent said that the ruling class (which includes both Republicans and Democrats) is telling Americans that they’re too stupid and lazy to do the hard work required for industries like agriculture, which is why they make sure to have plenty of VISAs available to non-citizens to do the work for them.
At one point, Perez appeared to take Kent’s statement blatantly out of context and said she’s offended that Kent called the “working class,” of which she is a part, stupid and lazy. “This is an attack on the American worker,” she said, “and I want to make sure everybody heard what he just said.”
- Permit-to-purchase, assault weapons ban pass out of Washington House CommitteeTwo controversial firearms bills have passed out of the Washington House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.
- Damar Hamlin’s recovery energizes Americans’ belief in prayer‘Perhaps the hearts of the rising generation will be more open to the very real power of faith.’
- County Council seeks volunteer to fill position for Drainage District No. 5The Clark County Council is seeking nominations and applications to fill a vacant position on the three-member board that oversees Drainage Improvement District No. 5.
- Opinion: Hang together or hang separatelyIn her weekly column, Nancy Churchill discusses the current dilemma for Republicans.
- Opinion: Capital gains income tax case: Three possible rulingsJason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center points out that Washington State government officials, however, stand alone claiming a capital gains tax is an ‘excise tax.’
- County seeks applicants for three openings on Animal Protection Advisory BoardCounty Manager Kathleen Otto is seeking applicants for several open positions on the volunteer Animal Protection and Control Advisory Board.
- Woodland High Schools Career and Technical Education students fixed a car which will be auctioned on Fri., Feb. 17Students in the auto repair classes worked on a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS replacing and repairing different components in the car’s powertrain and brakes while also performing needed maintenance and servicing.