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House Republican who voted to impeach Trump gets new primary challenger

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(The Center Square) – What was expected to be a two-Republican race in the 4th Congressional District in central Washington state now has a third. Tiffany Smiley has joined Jerrod Sessler in challenging U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse for the seat in the August primary.

No Democrats had filed in the race as of the end of Wednesday.

Former NASCAR driver Sessler received the endorsement from delegates to the Washington State Republican Party Convention held last month in Spokane.

Smiley first ran for political office in 2022 in an unsuccessful bid to unseat longtime U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. In 2023, Smiley launched a political action committee called Endeavor to train first-time candidates.

Sessler ran against Newhouse in 2022, finishing fourth in that August primary after Newhouse and Democratic candidate Doug White and fellow Republican Loren Culp. Newhouse collected 25.5% of the primary vote compared to Culp at 22% and Sessler at 12%. Democrat White finished second with 25% of the vote.

Newhouse was re-elected over White with 66% of the general election votes cast. Newhouse was one of the only two Republicans to win re-election out of the 10 who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his actions related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

In comparing five counties within the 4th Congressional District, Newhouse and Smiley performed similarly in the 2022 general election. Newhouse had a slight edge over Smiley in several counties. Both candidates outperformed the numbers for the Trump-Pence ticket in 2020.

As Chair of Endeavor PAC, Smiley endorsed Leslie Lewallen for Congress in September in southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Lewallen, along with Joe Kent, are both Republicans challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.

Kent lost to Gluesenkamp Perez in the 2022 general election after defeating then-incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the primary, one of eight Republicans after the 2021 impeachment vote who lost their seats.

Herrera Beutler is running for Washington Commissioner of Public Lands.

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