The Lewis County GOP Precinct Committee had its regular meeting June 7 in Winlock. Guest speakers included state Rep. Joel McEntire and state Sen. Jeff Wilson. I sat next to a soft-spoken older gentleman who described his career as a commercial airline pilot and the DC-3 in his backyard. We chatted and he said America was sinking into Marxism under the Biden Administration. The two speakers were rousing, optimistic and proud of the Republican stronghold in Southwest Washington that was brought about by courageous Republicans who were willing to fight hard. They begged the audience to support strong candidates to keep and enlarge our conservative area.
The rest of the meeting continued quietly and was ready to adjourn when the ex-pilot raised his hand, asked to be recognized and walked to the podium. He said, "I support Joe Kent and how do we get him elected?" The room literally broke out in cheers, clapping and shouts to get rid of Jaime Herrera Beutler and elect Joe Kent. The meeting was adjourned, but Sen. Wilson, who said he had started out as a precinct officer himself, sat down next to the gentleman and a large group of precinct officers gathered around asking about the procedures to advance a candidate. These are the new Republicans who want to take action and not just the old status quo establishment.
My husband, a logger of 45 years, and I have supported Joe Kent since he announced his candidacy in February. Joe was an Army chief warrant officer three, special forces, who served 11 combat tours. His wife, Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, was killed in Syria in 2019 by a suicide bomber. He retired shortly after her death and was an informal adviser to the Trump Administration on military issues. Joe lives in Yacolt and has two young sons.
Joe is the kind of strong representative we need as we watch the America we know being destroyed. He is articulate and unafraid. He has written articles for NBC, Fox News, Breitbart and the Military Times. He has appeared on Newsmax, Steve Bannon's “War Room”, has frequent interviews on local radio and has met voters in pizza parlors, churches, gun shows or wherever people want to meet him. He has spoken with President Trump at least twice: once over his wife's coffin at Dover and recently during a private visit to Mar-a-Lago.
I have met and formed my own opinions of the other two candidates. Wadi Yakhour is bureaucratically inclined, "go along to get along." Heidi St. John is a charming woman who tours and speaks for a living. She and her husband are involved in homeschooling, which is supremely important right now. When I looked at her website before she started campaigning, though, I felt its emphasis on more feminine issues didn't reflect a person who would easily weather the harshness she would be sure to find in Congress. Her strength lies in what she is doing at her local level.
Jaime Herrera Beutler has burned her bridges. No amount of nice letters and newspaper photo-ops can bring back trust. Joe Kent was ready to fight and die for his country in the military. He's strong enough to take up the fight for us again. I urge voters to look at Joe's website, joekentforcongress.com, and meet and support Joe for the 3rd Congressional District.
Bill and Linda Clark