State Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, announced Tuesday that she is running for Washington's 3rd Congressional District — adding to the number of Republican challengers for the seat.
She announced her intent to participate in the congressional race during a Clark County Republican Party meeting.
The race to unseat incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, already involves conservative challengers Heidi St. John and Joe Kent. Both candidates have been in the public eye for nearly a year, and Kraft's announcement comes less than a year before the general election.
Byron Sanford, Kent's campaign manager, wrote that another Republican candidate entering the race distracts from unseating Jaime Herrera Beutler.
"It is imperative that we consolidate around one candidate to keep the third district Republican," he wrote in a statement.
Kraft and St. John were unavailable for a comment.
Kraft has served as a representative for Washington's 17th Legislative District since 2016, where she had the most conservative voting record in the state's house of representatives. Due to updated maps following the 2020 Consensus, she will potentially get drawn out of her district.
Recently, Kraft has pushed for legislation that would allow individuals to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as reject other related mandates. Similarly, she promoted a bill that would limit the governor's emergency powers in enacting COVID-19 precautions.