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Inslee, Culp, election town hall
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Election Town Hall: Dave Ross and Dori Monson discuss Loren Culp’s chances at unseating Jay Inslee

As we approach Nov. 3, we’re holding a series of virtual election town halls to help you prepare for the upcoming general election.

For the first edition of this ongoing series hosted by Gee and Ursula Show co-host Ursula Reutin, we’re talking about the gubernatorial race, featuring a conversation between KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson and Dave Ross.

Incumbent Governor Jay Inslee received roughly 50% of votes in August’s Primary election, followed by Republic Police Chief Loren Culp at 17%. Inslee was first elected governor in 2012, when he edged out former state Attorney General Rob McKenna 51% to 48%. He won reelection in 2016 over Republican challenger Bill Bryant by a 54% to 45% margin.

With Inslee now running for his third term, does Culp have an outside shot at unseating him?

“I like Culp, I’ve had him on the show many times,” Dori said. “We desperately need some new blood, and I do not think Jay Inslee has been a great governor. Having said all of that, I do not think Loren Culp has a realistic chance.”

“I talked to him for a half hour, and I liked him, too,” Dave agreed. “But I don’t think he has a chance.”

“That’s not to denigrate him for trying — having done a little bit of politicking myself in the past, it’s a commitment,” he added. “So, good for him for seizing on the opportunity and trying to make a go of it.”

And while Dave and Dori may not agree on their respective votes for governor, what they do agree on is the need for a new face.

“I can’t disagree that there ought to be new blood, but nobody wanted to step up and challenge Jay [Inslee],” Dave noted. “And maybe it is time for mandatory term limits in Washington. If you had that, we’d have an open election.”

The larger problem at play, Dave described, is that without a more moderate option, Inslee is the more stable, less controversial of the two candidates on the ballot.

“My concern, beyond the fact that Loren Culp is a longshot, is that he’s the kind of guy who would bring more drama to Washington state than I’d feel comfortable with,” he said. “He clearly was planning to shake things up — he was asserting this idea that if either the federal government or state Legislature passed a law he considered to be unconstitutional, he’d decline to enforce it, which to me is trouble.”

For Dori, more extreme political views in this day and age are what makes most candidates appealing to their respective bases on both sides of the aisle.

“We have gotten so much more radical politically, that to mobilize people both on the left and the right, it takes a certain level of extremism,” he argued. “I don’t know if a moderate would have a better chance, I think radicals at both ends are driving the messaging right now.”

You can watch the full discussion between Dave and Dori above, and make sure to like KIRO Radio’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for the next edition in our series of weekly election town halls.

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