VANCOUVER, Wash. — Republican Joe Kent has conceded the race for Washington's 3rd Congressional District, following a recount that confirmed Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez as the winner of the race to represent Southwest Washington.
In a news release Wednesday morning, Kent said he had called Gluesenkamp Perez to concede and congratulate her on her victory, although the Gluesenkamp Perez campaign later told KGW that the two had not spoken.
"I promised during the campaign that I would accept the outcome of the election, now definitively determined as the recount has concluded," Kent said in a statement.
Gluesenkamp Perez took the lead in initial results on election night. Kent gained ground in the following days as more ballots were counted, but Perez claimed victory on Nov. 12 after multiple media outlets projected that she would maintain a narrow lead at the end.
Kent refused to concede at the time, declaring in a tweet that the race calls were "another narrative designed to stop voters from ballot curing & to force me to concede."
After it became clear that the result wouldn't be close enough to fall within the 0.5% margin that would trigger an automatic recount under Washington State law, Kent announced that his campaign would invoke its right to request a machine recount, and he began fundraising to cover the roughly $48,000 cost.
Each of the seven counties in the district began the recount process last week, and the last of them reportedly finished Tuesday.
Gluesenkamp Perez's victory was seen as an upset in a district that has been represented since 2010 by Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler.
Kent challenged Herrera Beutler in this year's primary election, criticizing her decision to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Gluesenkamp Perez and Kent finished first and second in the top-two primary, ousting Herrera Beutler and setting up a November runoff between the two newcomers.