Washington governor aids in Perez campaign fundraising

The list of top Washington officials relaying their support for congressional candidate Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is growing, with the governor being its latest addition.

Gov. Jay Inslee urged those subscribed to his campaign newsletter to back Perez, a Skamania Democrat vying to represent Southwest Washington in Congress, via fundraising in her battle against Republican Joe Kent of Yacolt, as tweeted by OPB’s Troy Brynelson on Thursday. The donation request echoed a rallying cry to prevent extremist politics from permeating through Washington’s federal seats.

“Please split a contribution between Marie’s campaign and mine so we can defeat far-right extremism and expand our Democratic majorities up and down the ballot in November!” read Inslee’s statement.

He drew attention to a recent assessment from Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analysis newsletter, that reported the congressional race is lessening its historically red grip on the district. Now, Southwest Washington’s race has bounced from a “solid” Republican leaning to a “lean” one.

Earlier this summer in an interview with The Daily News, Inslee made a similar effort to denounce Kent’s statements and actions on the campaign trail. He noted Kent’s questioning of statewide and nationwide 2020 presidential election results, emphasizing its detriment to democracy. And, recently, Inslee highlighted the candidate’s previous association with white nationalist figures, such as Nick Fuentes, a far-right political commentator.

Notably, Kent gained Donald Trump’s endorsement last fall and has gained adoration from the former president’s supporters. Similarly, he has tapped into fanbases for conservative programs, such as “Tucker Carlson Tonight” or Steve Bannon’s “War Room,” where he provides commentary on national affairs — the latter of which Kent proclaimed “We’re at war,” referencing the FBI raiding Trump’s Florida home for classified documents.

Washington’s governor isn’t the only prominent politician in the state to back Perez, though not all officials have made direct comments against her competitor.

Perez has gained endorsements from U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Washington Congressmembers Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer and Suzan DelBene, as well as representatives Javier Valdez, D-Moses Lake, and Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, have also backed the candidate.

Both Perez’s and Kent’s complete list of endorsements can be found on their respective websites.

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker is a politics reporter for The Columbian.

Scroll to top