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Conservatives line up to challenge GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler speaks from a table.
Al Drago
Pool via AP
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. That vote brought out conservative challengers, hoping to unseat the six-term Republican incumbent.

Democrats have been trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler for years. But heading into 2022, the six-term Republican from southwest Washington is facing challenges from within her own party.

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Troy Brynelson is based in Vancouver, Wash., and has been following developments as conservative challengers emerge. He talked about the dynamics in the race with KNKX.

Brynelson says the challengers emerged when Herrera Beutler supported impeaching President Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“When she considered testifying at the Senate impeachment trial, these Republican challengers would hold meetings where a lot of people just talked about how frustrated they were with HB,” Brynelson told KNKX. “At one point, a moderator asked if the challengers would support Jaime if she faced a Democrat. When one of the challengers said that she would support Jaime, she was booed for that answer.”

But Herrera Beutler also saw a surge in fundraising dollars after her impeachment vote.

The three Republicans who have announced a run for the 3rd District are political newcomer and former Green Beret Joe Kent, East Vancouver state Rep. Vicki Kraft, and Heidi St. John, a conservative Christian blogger, podcaster and public speaker.

Democrat Brent Hennrich is running, too, on issues like Medicare for All and other progressive causes.

Listen to our full conversation with Troy Brynelson above.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.