Yacolt resident is one of three known Republican challengers to Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler
Yacolt resident Joe Kent recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
Kent is one of at least three conservative Republican candidates to indicate that they will be seeking the seat currently held by Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, who has held the position since first being elected in 2010. Battle Ground resident Heidi St. John announced her candidacy on Saturday and Vancouver resident Wadi Yakhour will formally announce his candidacy Tuesday.
In his initial social media announcement, Kent described himself as “a veteran, a father, widower, a Gold Star husband and a conservative who is deeply concerned with the direction that our nation and district are heading. I am mostly concerned that the person we elected to represent our values and make our voices heard decided to listen to deceptive and divisive media and radical left as opposed to standing strong for the people of Southwest Washington and the over seventy-four million Americans who voted for President Trump.
“When Representative Jamie Herrea Beutler cast her vote to impeach President Trump, she betrayed the will of our district and showed the radical left that she can be manipulated for a shot at the spotlight,’’ Kent stated.
“Since the 2020 election and the tragic events of January 6th, 2021 we have seen conservatives and Trump supporters labeled as terrorists and targeted by social media, corporate America, and the mainstream media for the alleged crime of supporting President Trump and asking fair questions about widespread election irregularities,’’ Kent added. “Let me be very clear about January 6th, those who acted violently are criminals and have no place in our movement. However, the violent actors are a small fringe, not representative at all our over seventy-four million strong, diverse populist movement.’’
Kent offered sentiment that is shared by his fellow challengers of the incumbent Herrera Beutler.
“Representative Beutler does not understand the significance of the times that we are living in or the significance of our great district,’’ Kent stated. “In the last four years we saw the permanent governing class, the media, and the tech sector align against the Trump movement, all leading up to the election in November of 2020. This self-described cabal’s goal was not just to get Trump out of office it was also to silence and gain submission from every one of his supporters. Representative Beutler refused to speak out on any of these issues, instead she played right into the left’s hand by voting to impeach President Trump.
“Representative Beutler is clearly no longer capable of holding the line from the far-left radicals at our doorstep in Olympia and Portland,’’ Kent stated. “Our district is surrounded by politicians and activists who are actively working to change the foundations of our nation, and Representative Beutler just gave them an invitation by buying into their false narrative.’’
Kent sees this as a critical time in the nation’s history.
“The time to push back and stand strong is now, the odds are already stacked against us with the radical Democrats in control of the White House and Congress,’’ he stated. “We cannot give them anymore ground; therefore I am compelled to run for office and fight for the future of our nation.’’
Kent also stated that it was his core values that led him to enlist in the US Army when he was still a teenager.
“I live my life by asking myself, if not me, then who? If not now, when?’’ he said. “This spirit inspired me to enlist in the US Army when I was 18 years old and kept me volunteering to serve our nation over the course of twenty years and 11 combat deployments. I am no stranger to strife and fighting for what is right.’’
Kent grew up in Portland but relocated to Yacolt after his wife Shannon while serving in the military
“I grew up in Portland, Oregon but thanks to the Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts I spent many summers on the Lewis River, crawling through the Ape caves and winters snowshoeing around Mt. St. Helens,’’ Kent said. “When I was 18 years old, I joined the Army and began my 20-year adventure in Special Operations. My career came to a sudden end in 2019 (when) my wife, Shannon Kent, was killed in Syria fighting ISIS. After Shannon was killed, I resigned from government service to care for our two young sons. I moved to Yacolt, Washington after briefly living in Portland and seeing how Portland had changed from being a vibrant small city into a hotbed of lawlessness and far left ideology.
“I chose to live in the third district, in Clark County because I knew the people here have strong traditional American values,’’ he said. “So, I felt very betrayed when Representative Herrera Beutler chose to reject the facts and the will of her constituents to side with the far left. Now the far left knows she can be manipulated, she cannot defend us or represent us. I can’t sit on the sidelines any longer and am seeking the chance to serve you once again.’’
Editor’s note: Clark County Today published the announcement of Heidi St. John’s candidacy on Sunday and will follow with Wadi Yakhour’s formal announcement on Tuesday.