Republican Joe Kent said his main goal was to end one-party rule while Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez said she would focus on small businesses and manufacturing jobs.
PORTLAND, Ore. — With ballots mailed in and just over a week until Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District are choosing a new face to represent them in Washington, D.C.
Six-term incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler lost in the first two primaries in August. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, the only Democrat on a crowded ballot, was first to get votes while Republican Joe Kent came second.
Herrera Beutler was one of 10 U.S. House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, which Kent says motivated him to run against her. Neither he nor Gluesenkamp Perez have ever held elected office.
Gluesenkamp Perez owns an auto repair shop in Portland with her husband and lives in rural Skamania County. Kent is a former Green Beret who served 20 years in the military. He is endorsed by President Trump and lives in Yacolt, Washington.
On this week’s episode of Straight Talk, Kent and Gluesenkamp Perez argued over their competing visions for Southwest Washington and the nation, including what they would do to bring down inflation and reduce crime. , and their views on abortion rights and immigration.
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Kent blamed the weakening US economy, high inflation and rising crime rates on the Biden administration and Democrats. He said his opponent and other Democrats are trying to distract from key issues that are hurting the district and the nation.
“My vision for the district and really for the nation as a whole is to end one-party rule in Washington, DC. The last two years of one-party rule have been absolutely disastrous for our country and for our district,” did he declare. “We’ve got inflation out of control. Inflation is going to steal a month’s paycheck from every American… We’ve got crime that’s completely out of control thanks to a wide-open southern border. Enough fentanyl has been pumped into our country to kill many Americans multiple times.”
The vision of Gluesenkamp Perez
Gluesenkamp Perez sought to distance herself from her fellow Democrats and said she was presenting herself as an independent voice for Southwest Washington.
She cited Herrera Beutler and former Democratic Representative Brian Baird, who represented the district from 1999 to 2011, as examples of representatives who opposed their parties. She said she would do the same if needed. Its goal, she said, is to help small businesses, bring manufacturing back to the United States and support business jobs.
“Small businesses like mine are hurting. We need to relocate manufacturing. We need to support vocational and technical training. I didn’t open an auto repair shop so I could run for Congress. I’m doing it because I believe that work is inherently noble,” she said. “Fixing things, working for a living is inherently noble. And we need to return that attitude to Congress. We need to have a Congress that looks more like America.”
Gluesenkamp Perez on fighting inflation
Gluesenkamp Perez blamed the inflation, in part, on global supply chain shocks.
“It’s not the demand-driven inflation of the 1970s. And it’s because for decades both sides failed to support small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. “, she said. “Supply chains have weakened and collapsed. We need to get back to a place where we build and manufacture things in America.”
She said she would like federal Pell Grants to be available not just for two- and four-year colleges, but also for people who want to pursue apprenticeships in the trades.
“I’m willing to bet a lot of people listening to the show right now are on a waiting list for an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a mechanic. These are jobs that can’t be outsourced to China. “, she says.
Kent on fighting inflation
Responding to Gluesenkamp Perez’s plan to support trade jobs, Kent said these programs will not help reduce inflation unless the country cuts deficit spending.
“I will be a good steward of taxpayers’ money, reduce excessive government regulation and government spending, and also get our energy economy back in line,” he said. “Joe Biden made the decision to kill the Keystone XL (pipeline) to end exploratory drilling.”
He said he would work to return to America’s era of energy independence so that Americans are not “strangled at the gas pump.”
“So on day one, I want to make it very clear to the Biden administration that they will backtrack on American energy or we will hold back on the federal budget. We have to keep our feet on the fire to give Americans real relief, and then stop this senseless spending,” he said.
Bonus Round of Straight Talk
The candidates also traded blows on immigration, how to reduce crime, their views on abortion and questions raised about Kent’s employer. They also had the opportunity to ask themselves a question.
After the recording of the regular edition of Straight Talk, the contestants took an additional 15 minutes to answer a series of bonus questions which listeners and viewers can hear on the KGW Straight Talk podcast or watch on the KGW Youtube channel .
During this round of questions, Kent and Gluesenkamp Perez discussed what happened on Jan. 6 during the U.S. Capitol riot, how to ensure Social Security remains solvent, Second Amendment rights, and how to reduce gun violence; and Kent’s call to abolish the Washington State vote. mail system.
Straight Talk airs Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 6:30 p.m., Sundays at 9:30 p.m. and is also available as a podcast.