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[COMMENTARY/WATCH] WA Congressional Dem Candidate Brent Hennrich Responds to MAGA Joe Kent’s Interview

On Labor Day, I interviewed the Trump-endorsed Joe Kent, who’s challenging Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera-Beutler in the 2022 primary in Washington State’s third district. Kent was hosting troubled Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (to which Herrera-Beutler responded, via spokesperson Parker Truax: “A few weeks ago Jaime brought a jobs fair to that same venue her opponent brought an alleged sex trafficker. Southwest Washington voters will have a pretty clear choice in next year’s election.”) and I experienced serious harassment while covering the rally they held together at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

A few days later, I was able to sit down with Brent Hennrich, the only Democratic challenger so far to emerge to take on the popular Herrera-Beutler, who’s been re-elected by the voters of WA-03 five times. But her popularity is being threatened by her vote for the second impeachment of Donald Trump, as well as her willingness to work with Democrats.

 

Raised in a politically active family in Portland, Oregon, Hennrich grew up with the core beliefs of the party, particularly when it comes to healthcare and a woman’s right to choose. Brent and his wife, Amber, endured a personal tragedy with the loss of their daughter, Addison, an event that only secured his position on womens’ healthcare issues even more strongly. Hennrich is “100% pro-choice,” as he told me, but he’s also focused on complete healthcare for all Americans, including mental, dental, and reproductive care. He believes aggressive climate change action is also a key to better healthcare, as the health of the planet is connected to our health as a species. Hennrich also encourages everyone to get vaccinated and wear masks when they’re mandated.

Hennrich, unlike Joe Kent, is on record as saying he’ll fully accept the results of his midterm election in November 2022. Truax, the spokesperson for Rep. Herrera-Beutler also shared the Congresswoman’s concerns with me: “We need to be very careful about undermining our election system that is core to our democracy’s ability to function. Secretary of State Kim Wyman is a capable and competent election administrator who has overseen eight years of fair elections in this state.” Brent Hennrich firmly denounces the violence brought into this district and anywhere else by right-wing fringe groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Patriot Prayer, and QAnon, all of whom had a presence at the Matt Gaetz/Joe Kent rally I attended on Labor Day.

Hennrich was personally horrified by my experience with the Joe Kent campaign, particularly the intimidation I received. He spoke to his own experiences with death threats from the right barely 48 hours after he’d officially declared his candidacy. A neighbor spotted a figure looking into the family’s windows, necessitating a full security system with cameras (and with his background working for the Cinetopia movie theatre chain, where he traveled the world installing the most high-end digital picture and sound systems at premier cinemas, Brent Hennrich is not messing around with his security cameras). Hennrich also told me about a Facebook post where a man responded to him by describing in detail just how he would torture Brent’s 10-year-old daughter–while Brent watched. Aware of the MAGA mentality he’s up against, Brent takes on the opposition with facts.

Brent Hennrich realizes it’s an uphill battle to flip WA-03, but when he saw that no one else was stepping up to address the issues facing not just this district, but the country as a whole, he decided it was time to get involved. He’s determined to get the word out about the MAGA candidates already broadcasting their unwillingness to accept the results of the 2022 election, as well as the other issues close to his heart. Watch our full conversation below, shared with the candidate’s full permission.



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