Although the Associated Press and numerous other outlets have called the Nov. 8 race in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District for Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, her Republican opponent, Joe Kent, today announced the formation of a committee to raise money for a recount.
“Given the number of ballots left to cure and the small margin between myself and my opponent, it’s possible that the eventual margin will require a mandatory recount per state law,” Kent said in a statement. “However, if it narrowly misses that margin, my campaign is taking steps to raise the money to pay for an optional recount that is also allowed under state law.”
The official count on the Washington secretary of state’s website shows Gluesenkamp Perez, the owner of an auto-repair shop, ahead of Kent, an ex-Green Beret, by 0.89%, or 2,812 votes of 318,743 counted.
Glusenkamp Perez’s victory over Kent, who defeated U.S. Rep. Jaimie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) in the primary, was one of the the biggest upsets nationwide Nov. 8.
“This race was a bellwether for the direction of our country. Joe Kent gave voice to some of the darkest impulses in our politics: white nationalism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism. Southwest Washington looked them straight in the eye and said no—not here, not now, not ever,” Glusenkamp Perez said in a Nov. 12 statement.
Washington election rules call for a mandatory recount if the margin between two candidates is less than one-half of a percent and also less than 2,000 votes.
If the race is not that close—as the 3rd District currently is not—the losing candidate has the option to pay for a recount, which is the direction Kent is heading.
But unlike former President Donald Trump, who endorsed him, Kent says he will not contest whatever the secretary of state deems the final result.
“I will accept the eventual outcome of this election as determined by the secretary of state, and my campaign will continue to work to ensure that the final count is as accurate as possible,” Kent said.