Joe Kent’s Democrat Opponent Dodges Transgender Sports Question

As the nation prepares for next week’s momentous midterm elections, Democrats in blue states have been struggling with finding a progressive message that matters to voters concerned with inflation, crime, the crisis at the southern border, and education issues. In the race for the House seat from Washington State’s 3rd Congressional District, Republican Joe Kent, a political newcomer and Trump-endorsed military veteran Gold Star husband is demonstrating how weak the Democratic message is.

Kent’s opponent, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez refused to provide a straight answer to a direct question about allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports at a debate last week. The pair faced off in a debate hosted by Oregon Public Broadcasting at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington.

Gluesenkamp Pérez declined to give an answer about male participation in female sports, finally saying only that it is a “nuanced question” that depends on particular circumstances. She fumbled around by rationalizing that her position on the issue would depend on when a man transitioned to female and what his hormone levels are.

She said, “Athletes have all different natural hormone levels.”

Then when asked by the moderator if she supports “gender-affirming care” for minor children, she said she needed to know what the question means. The questioner said the term was meant to include puberty-blocking drugs and procedures causing sterilization. Gluesenkamp Pérez then said those decisions should be made by families and not the government.

Kent has battled the highly liberal Washington State media in addition to Gluesenkamp Pérez since winning the GOP primary race over incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) in August.

While Kent is a staunch America First candidate, Herrera Beutler ran as a member of the anti-Trump GOP establishment. She joined the likes of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) by voting in favor of the second impeachment of President Trump in January 2021.

Herrera Beutler was first elected from the 3rd District in 2010 and won six elections before being unseated by Kent.

Kent is a first-time political candidate and served in the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2018. His wife, Shannon, also served in the army and was killed fighting ISIS in Syria in 2019.

RealClearPolitics does not have recent polling information for Washington’s 3rd District but rates the race as a “likely GOP” win.