Trump-backed conservative Joe Kent has claimed a narrow lead against incumbent Washington Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the state's open primary.
With 91.6% of the vote counted, Kent stands in second place with 22.8% of the voter to Beutler's 22.3%, according to the Associated Press. Prior to Monday evening, Beutler maintained a slim lead over her challenger.
Democrat Marie Perez came in first with 31.0% and will face the second place finisher in the district's open primary. Washington does not conduct traditional primary contests but rather holds open races from which the top two finishers, regardless of party, earn their places on the November ballot.
Should Kent's lead hold, Beutler will be ousted from Congress and former President Donald Trump will notch another win against the few Republicans who voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.
Last Tuesday, Trump-backed John Gibbs defeated Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, another pro-impeachment Republican, in that primary race.
Of the ten Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump, four chose not to seek reelection. Washington Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse emerged triumphant in his primary and will go on to the general election. Should Beutler ultimately lose, she will join Meijer and South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice in the list of rejected pro-impeachment candidates.
The most prominent impeachment Republican, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney will face her primary challenge on Aug. 16. Polling suggests she is poised to lose and Cheney has encouraged Democrats to switch parties to keep her in office.