Culp an atypical GOP candidate for Washington governor

Culp an atypical GOP candidate for Washington governor

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Loren Culp is not the typical Republican running to become governor of Washington. Unlike most previous GOP candidates for the state’s top office, Culp, 59, is a first-time politician. The police chief of the tiny town of Republic in eastern Washington was relatively unknown until he received national attention for saying he wouldn’t enforce a ballot measure approved by voters in 2018 that placed new restrictions on firearms. Culp has also taken on two-term Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s restrictions on public gatherings related to the coronavirus pandemic, hosting large campaign rallies across the state filled with supporters not wearing masks. In line with President Donald Trump — whom he supports in a state that overwhelmingly voted for Hilary Clinton — he has several nicknames for Inslee, such as “Job Killer Jay,″ and“Gov. Ineptly.″ Culp paints Washington — a state with an until recently booming economy, a big increase in population and rising home prices — as plagued by homelessness, drug abuse, wildfires and government mismanagement. “Democrats have been in charge for a long time,″ Culp told The Associated Press. “People are tired.” Democrats aren’t buying that. “Culp is wildly out of touch with the average Washington voter,″ said Will Casey, spokesman for the Washington State Democratic Party. Democrats point to Culp’s opposition to gun control, to reforms intended to reduce violence by police, to his membership in an extreme conservative group and to a botched sexual assault case in remote and rural Ferry County. There […]

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