Republican Concedes to Democrat in US House Race With Narrow Margin

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Democrats have flipped a U.S. House of Representatives seat representing Washington state, the Republican candidate for the seat acknowledged on Dec. 21.

Joe Kent, the GOP candidate for the seat representing Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, announced he’d called his rival to concede after a recount ended.

“I promised during the campaign that I would accept the outcome of the election, now definitively determined as the recount has concluded,” Kent said in a statement. “This morning, I called my opponent to concede and offer my congratulations on her victory.”

Kent, a military veteran, and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, owner of an automobile shop, finished in the top two in the nonpartisan primary election, leaving incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) on the outside.

Perez received about 18,000 more votes than Kent in the primary. The general election was much closer, but Perez was still on top with approximately 4,500 more votes.

Due to the slim margin, Kent asked for and received recounts in several counties. Automatic recounts are only for races within 0.5 percent, per state law. The recounts finished with Perez having a net gain of four votes, according to local news outlets.

“I’m glad Joe Kent accepted his loss, and I look forward to serving as Southwest Washington’s independent voice in Congress,” Perez said in a statement. “Democracy is alive and well in our corner of the country.”

The race was called weeks earlier by outlets since recounts typically do not change many votes.

Both parties flipped seats in the midterms, but Republicans flipped many more. The party is set to take control of the House when new members are sworn in next month.

Kent: Important Lesson

Kent told supporters they should be proud that they helped him defeat a 12-year incumbent, and that they helped him come close to a general election victory despite the millions spent by his opponents.

By Zachary Stieber

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