With Primary in rearview, Loren Culp gears up for fight against Jay Inslee
With a bulk of Washington’s Primary results now in, Republic Police Chief Loren Culp appears poised to take on incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee in November’s General Election. Culp joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show to talk about his plans in the days ahead as his gubernatorial campaign continues to ramp up.
“I’m ready for it,” Culp said. “I don’t back down. I love a good challenge, and I have the rule of law, the Constitution, and law and order to bring back to this state. I look forward to the fight.”
Culp first made national headlines in 2018, when he became the first law enforcement leader in the state to announce that he would not enforce new gun laws laid out in Initiative 1639. That marked the beginning of a journey that inspired him to enter the political realm, after 10 years with the Republic Police Department.
“My stand for citizens’ rights back in 2018 is what has led me down this path to being the Republican nominee for governor right now,” he described. “When they restricted 18 to 21 year olds from buying a semiautomatic rifle, I stood up — that was a bridge too far for me.”
A year after that, he announced his run for governor of Washington, which will soon see him pitted directly against two-term incumbent Jay Inslee.
Inslee wasted no time jumping in the fray against Culp shortly after the first Primary results rolled in Tuesday, speaking out against an election night party Culp held in Leavenworth, where many attendees gathered without masks.
“It’s just funny that he would bring that up and point the finger at me, when he released hardened criminals out of our state penitentiaries,” Culp noted, referring to the roughly 1,000 inmates Inslee released in mid-April, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. “A lot of them are re-offending, so that’s on the hands of Jay Inslee. And he wants to talk to me about allowing free citizens to come to my event and decide for themselves whether they’re gonna wear masks?”
As of early Thursday afternoon, Culp had garnered nearly 17% of the vote in the Primary election, nearly 10% more than the next highest total. Inslee is sitting just over 51%, roughly on par with where he was after the 2016 Primaries.
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.