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Kent misses campaign finance filing deadline, blames technical issues | Government and politics

Lauren Ellenbecker The Colombian

Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, Joe Kent, failed to submit personal finance records to the House Ethics Committee on time, in violation of federal law.

Kent’s campaign team blamed unspecified technical issues for interfering with submitting their documents on time. Candidates are required to submit their personal financial information through the U.S. House of Representatives filing system after raising or spending $5,000 in campaign money, per House guidelines.

Kent did not respond to a request for comment.

Financial information includes notes on assets, debt, employment, and additional income information.

The Federal Election Commission reported that Kent raised nearly $1.4 million in 2021, surpassing the threshold set midway through the year. His delay violated the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, a measure created to combat insider trading.

Those who disclose their personal finances after the deadline may be subject to a $200 late fee, which is paid to the US Treasury. Applicants who “knowingly and willfully” fail to file a statement may be subject to investigation by the Department of Justice.

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Kent’s report, filed Feb. 2, showed earnings from his current full-time job, a US Army pension and US Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits.

He also received survivor benefits from his wife Shannon Kent, a US Navy cryptologist who was killed in a suicide bombing while serving in Syria. According to the disclosure, he also received an advance to write a book about his late wife.

As the election year progresses, Kent continues to organize fundraising events, such as a Mar-A-Lago club outing that costs at least $1,000 to attend.

Not all candidates for the congressional district submitted personal financial disclosures because they had not met the financial threshold at the time of filing. That includes Democrat Brent Hennrich and State Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, who announced her candidacy in late November.

On Friday, Hennrich’s campaign team said it contacted the House Ethics Committee to receive the documents needed to publicly report on his personal finances.

“It may not all be so interesting, but it will all be there,” he said.

According to Republican Heidi St. John’s disclosure filed in May, she received income from conference events and book sales, as well as a commission from an essential oil multilevel marketing company. St. John, a Christian author and podcaster, said she received no funds from an inactive publishing business she partly owns alongside her husband and friends.

In 2020, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, said he received interest in a bank account and made payments on loans. Members of Congress submit their personal finances each May for the previous year, with 2021 financial disclosures underway in the spring.

For more information on candidate campaign income and expenses, go to FEC.gov.