Gabbard Endorses Republican Joe Kent For Competitive Washington Seat Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at an "Our Bodies, Our Sports" rally to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
By Luca Cacciatore | Wednesday, 12 October 2022 06:03 PM EDT
Onetime Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has backed a Donald Trump-endorsed House Republican candidate just one day after leaving the Democratic Party.
Gabbard, who ran for president as a Democrat in 2020, unveiled her support for Army veteran Joe Kent in Washington's competitive 3rd congressional district on Wednesday via a new campaign advertisement.
In the video, the former Hawaii congresswoman calls out President Joe Biden; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez for "open border policies" that have led to a worsening "drug and crime epidemic."
"My friend Joe Kent is a fighter. He's dedicated his life to ensuring the safety, security, and freedom of the American people and our country. With your vote, Joe's going to go to Washington and work tirelessly to secure the border and bring you and your loved one's peace of mind," Gabbard concluded.
Kent shared a message on Twitter emphasizing that he is "honored" to receive the endorsement of Gabbard, who is now a registered independent. He further referred to her as "leading the political realignment," seeking to put families and the nation first.
"This movement is about our common love for our nation, not political labels. Join us and let's take our nation back!" Kent stated.
It's the latest endorsement for Kent, who defied all odds when he prevailed against incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler after a close Washington primary race held in August, according to Ballotpedia.
Beutler had been one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, leading to the former president's early backing of Kent.
"Joe [Kent] will be a warrior for the America First agenda, unlike Jaime Herrera Beutler who voted, despite the facts, against the Republican Party and for the Democrats' Impeachment Scam," Trump wrote in his endorsement last September.