GOP Congressional Wannabe Joe Kent—Another Fan Boy Endorsed by Demagogue Donald March 19, 2022
We’re now in the “March Madness” period in which millions of Americans have lined up behind their favorite college basketball team. However, in the political world, since at least 2015, nearly all the GOP remains aligned to the “Mad Donald Team.” Even Donald’s solid popular and Electoral College 11/2020 drubbing by Democrat Joe Biden are ignored by the overwhelming GOP majority. Most Republicans have joined Donald’s “cult of personality.” They genuflect before “Mad Donald’s” anti-democracy attitudes and extremist endorsements, views remaining far outside the American mainstream. After Donald’s “buddy” Russian President Vladimir Putin ruthlessly and without cause invaded neighboring Ukraine on 2/24/2022, many GOPers twisted themselves into political pretzels, trying to divorce themselves from the actions of Donald’s “best friend.” GOP lawmakers still can’t tear themselves away from brutal Putin. After all, Demagogue Donald called Vlad “savvy” after his Ukraine invasion and that’s good enough for far too many in this clique. One of those Republican “lawmakers” is first-term GOP Congressmember Madison Cawthorn who currently represents N. Carolina’s western 11th Congressional District (CD). The Tar Heel 11th includes Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountain areas (Cohen & Cook 2022 Political Almanac). Cong. Cawthorn always received strong media attention as a GOP “up- and- comer” and has a devoted MAGA base of followers. He never misses a chance to utter a provocative off-the-wall comment about domestic and foreign policy matters. He had the nerve to falsely call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, bravely fighting for his country and people, a “thug.” Cawthorn ridiculously attacked Ukraine as “incredibly corrupt, vile, and evil” and in the service of “pushing woke ideologies (wral.com, 3/11/22).” Cawthorn, a Trump supporter in Congress, is not the only member of the GOP attacking Zelensky. Sure, 61% of GOPers and 64% of U.S. adults back Zelensky’s brave underdog stand against the Russians. Cawthorn could care less that only 6% of Americans view Zelensky unfavorably (wral.com, 3/11/22). Cawthorn and Donald have anti-Zelensky backers throughout the U.S. Zelensky foe GOPer Joe Kent received Donald’s endorsement to defeat 6th term Washington State Republican Congressmember Jaime Herrera Beutler in the primary (See CQ 117th Congress At Your Fingertips). Donald wants GOPer Herrera Beutler defeated because she committed the “unpardonable” sin of voting to impeach Trump after he helped incite the 1/06/2021 D.C. Capitol riot. Meet Joe Kent.
Oregon native Joe Kent (41) is running for WA’s 3rd Congressional District (CD). As was previously mentioned, he hopes to defeat that district’s incumbent Congressmember Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler (BUT-ler). The current WA 3rd is located in the Evergreen State’s southwest between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascades. The Evergreen 3rd was initially a lumber-mill and fishing area. From the 1930’s New Deal era, it was Democratic blue-collar country. However, after a 1990’s court decision shut down logging in old-growth forests to save the spotted owl habitat, GOP voter registration increased. Clark County, in the 3rd’s southern part, contains the city of Vancouver, one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. Vancouver is filled with new residents eager to avoid neighboring Oregon’s high- income tax but who want to make purchases in OR free of its sales tax. From 2000-2017, Clark County, across the Columbia River from Portland, OR, grew by 38%. Vancouver’s port employs about 4,000 workers. Ten percent of Clark County is Hispanic and 5 percent Asian. Many of the newcomers to the WA 3rd CD have no roots in this area and have made this region politically marginal. Two-thirds of the 3rd’s residents live in Clark County which has aided the GOP. The 3rd CD also contains a small slice of WA’s Thurston County but not Olympia, the state’s capital. In 2020, Trump won the WA 3RD by 3 points, 50%-47% (Cohen & Cook 2022 Almanac). The most recent Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) gives the Evergreen 3rd an R+5 score.
Joe Kent received his Bachelor’s degree from Norwich University in 2017. He served in the U.S. Army from 1998-2018. He was an infantryman and later became a Ranger. He worked as a project manager for a technology company and for the CIA. His wife, Shannon, was a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and a cryptological technician who was deployed to Syria. She was killed there in a 2019 bombing (wiki.ng/en /wiki/joe-kent). Kent is a former Green Beret (opb.org, Brynelson, 11/29/21).
Kent has positioned himself as the darling of the extremist Trump “America First” MAGA wing. Before getting Trump’s endorsement, he was wined and dined by Donald at Mar-a-Lago. Kent tweeted that Ukraine should surrender to Russia (thebulwark.com, Miller, T., 3/10/22). Kent has ranted on Fox News wacko Tucker Carlson’s show that the life-saving COVID vaccines mandates constitute “tyranny (thebulwark.com, Miller).”
And there is more. One of Kent’s allies and strategists was none other than raving anti-Semite/Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. Fuentes released a recording of a call he had with Kent in which this 3rd CD candidate praised Fuentes and his group for pushing for a white majority. Kent told Fuentes, “I love what you are doing.” It was also reported that Kent’s top campaign consultant set up a booth at Fuentes’s America First PAC conference, the same one that disgraced Cong. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) spoke at in 2021 (thebulwark.com, Miller, 3/10/22). Kent later had an interview with another Fuentes fan and anti-Semite David Carlson. In this interview, Kent called American culture “anti-white, and anti- straight male (thebulwark.com, Miller).” Kent told David Carlson that there is “nothing wrong with a white-people special interest group.” He stated, however, that saying that the issue is “all about white people does not seem like a winning strategy (thebulwark.com).” Translation: Kent is fine with D. Carlson’s and Fuentes’s bigotry and pushing “white people’s” issues (KKKers, neo-Nazis, and other “fine” white supremacists) as long as he hides it while publicly running. Kent also believes that “Chinese anchor baby citizens,” should not have the same status as whites who claim that they had relatives on the “Mayflower” with the Pilgrims (thebulwark.com, Miller, 3/10/22).
Kent’s views have hit a cord with lots of the MAGA set. In the summer of 2021, he collected $425, 131 a 23% increase from the spring quarter. His $838, 818 in cash-on-hand trails Cong. Herrera Beutler’s $1.4 million. However, it is more than double that of his GOP primary opponent Heidi St. John. Herrera Beutler’s Democratic opponent in the last two election cycles never banked this much that quickly. Trump supporters, casino mogul Stephen Wynn and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, each gave Kent the maximum of $5,800. Wynn, remember, was briefly Republican National Committee Chair before he had to resign over sexual misconduct allegations (opb.org, Brynelson, 11/29/21).
Kent attacks Herrera Beutler, but he mainly fights “the establishment,” or in his book, Democrats, Republicans, generals, and D.C. careerists who misled Trump and are “scheming against the republic (opb.org, Brynelson, 11/29/21).” Under Washington State law, everyone appears on the primary ballot together, Democrats and Republicans as well as other party nominees. The top two primary vote getters advance to the general election. Most analysts believe incumbent Herrera Beutler is a lock to make the general election. However, former Libertarian TX Cong. Ron Paul, KY Sen. Rand Paul’s father, finished second to Mitt Romney in a 2012 caucus primary in the WA 3rd . With stirred up MAGA followers, many of them angry at Herrera Beutler’s impeachment vote in 2021 against Trump, Kent could beat the Democratic nominee and have a shot at taking out Herrera Beutler. Should Kent land on the general election ballot, Democrats and moderate GOPers must join together to defeat him. Trumpism and Kent’s bigotry must have no place whatsoever in 21st Century America.