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Open primary may save Trump’s GOP targets in Washington

The two Republican members of Congress from Washington who drew interparty challenges due to their vote to impeach former President Donald Trump were leading other Republicans in the state’s top two primary Wednesday.

Under Washington’s primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot, and the top two vote getters in each of Tuesday’s races advance to the November election, regardless of party — a system observers say may have helped the GOP incumbents in Washington who had been targeted by Trump.

In early returns, Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse looked as they may advance to the general election with a Democratic candidate in each of their races.

Cornell Clayton.
Clayton

If Herrera Beutler and Newhouse ultimately advance to the general election ballot as Valadao did, it will be in large part due to the mechanics of the top two primary, said Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy at Washington State University.

“The top two primary is designed to favor more moderate candidates and make it more difficult for the extremes in either party to primary moderate candidates,” he said.

The number of Republican candidates in these particular two races gave an advantage to Democrats’ chances in claiming one of the top two spots, leaving the Republican vote split, Clayton notes.

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MSN/Associated Press

Habitat survey sheds light on survival of mule deer

Huge-eared and inquisitive, mule deer are an iconic species found just about anywhere there’s vegetation in the Western U.S.

Mule deer’s natural habitat across the West has been substantially altered by agriculture, and in some areas, the species’ numbers have declined. In the last few decades, however, many farmers have used federal conservation programs to restore sensitive lands to grass and shrub. Scientists at Washington State University want to know how agriculture and restored fields in southeastern Washington affect mule deer.

Lisa Shipley.
Shipley
Rebekah Lumkes.
Lumkes

Trekking grasslands in southeastern Washington, Rebekah Lumkes, a School of the Environment master’s student, and her advisor, Professor Lisa Shipley, study the link between changing habitat and fawning locations — sites where baby fawns are born and cared for by does.

“Mule deer are an indicator species,” Lumkes said. “They’re sensitive to changes in habitat, especially their cover and forage, that agriculture and development have brought to the West.”

In a three‑year study funded by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Lumkes is surveying habitat at fawning sites for 30 radio-collared does from Walla Walla to Clarkston, Washington.

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WSU Insider

Another tough election’: Rep. Herrera Beutler faces her toughest Washington primary since first elected

Herrera Beutler faces a targeted fight within her own party, including a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

As one of two Republican members of Congress from Washington to have voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler faces one of her toughest primaries since she was first elected to represent the southwest region of the state in 2010.

The number of Republicans in the race — including a former Green Beret endorsed by Trump — and the anger that the six-term congresswoman sparked among some in her party with her impeachment vote means Herrera Beutler could face a scenario that seemed unfathomable in her previous re-election bids: not making it through the primary.

Mark Stephan.
Stephan

It all comes down who turns out to vote and how much power the Trump endorsement holds, said Mark Stephan, an associate professor of political science at Washington State University-Vancouver.

“The 3rd District taps into that national story of, where is the Republican Party headed,” he said. “How much continued influence does President Trump have over the party?”

Trump had vowed revenge against the 10 House Republicans who crossed party lines to impeach him but has had mixed results in the primaries to date.

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KREM2

A Trump-Backed Veteran Ran Hard to the Right, Only to Be Outflanked

Joe Kent, a decorated retired Green Beret and House candidate in Washington State, is discovering just how far the modern far right will go.

Joe Kent, a square-jawed Trump devotee running for a House seat in Washington State, is in a bit of a pickle.

Kent has campaigned as a “Stop the Steal”-style candidate on Donald Trump’s “America First” platform, positions that apparently caught the eye of the former president, who has endorsed him.

Kent insists the 2020 election was rigged, and has rationalized the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, by claiming that an otherwise peaceful crowd was infiltrated by Deep State agents provocateurs. In September, he spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., in support of people accused of storming the Capitol, urging the release of what he called “political prisoners.”

Kent is running to unseat Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican, in Washington’s solidly red Third Congressional District. A relative moderate, she voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — a decision that put her on the former president’s list of House Republicans he is targeting for removal.

Mark Stephan.
Stephan

Mark Stephan, a political scientist at Washington State University, said he could envision a showdown in the fall between Herrera Beutler and Kent, but allowed that Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, the leading Democrat, might squeak through to the general election if enough Republicans split their votes.

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New York Times

3 Republicans who impeached Trump vie to keep their seats in Tuesday’s primaries

Three House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump and accuse him of inciting the Capitol riot are on primary ballots Tuesday in Michigan and Washington state — the latest test of the former president’s grip on the GOP and Republican voters.

Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington and Peter Meijer of Michigan all hope to fend off challengers endorsed and boosted by Trump.

Newhouse and Herrera Beutler could survive their Trump-backed primary challenges due in part to Washington’s unique voting system. The state’s primary sends the top two vote-getting candidates on to the general election regardless of their party affiliation.

Travis Ridout.
Ridout

This type of primary system can be “helpful for the incumbents who are perceived as moderate,” Travis Ridout, a political science professor at Washington State University, told ABC News.

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ABC News
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