Loren Culp

The race for Governor of Washington is now down to two men, Democrat Governor Jay Inslee and Republican challenger, Loren Culp. 

In a very crowded primary, that saw more than 30 candidates, 51 percent voted for Inslee, 17 percent voted for Culp. 

Culp celebrated his primary win with a party for supporters in Leavenworth. Pictures from the event showed dozens of people not wearing masks. 

When KHQ asked Culp about the decision not to require masks, he said he let people choose what they wanted to do. Choice is also why Culp said he will in November. 

"Jay Inslee is acting like a dictator and not governing people like they are free Americans," he said.  "If you owned a gun store or a church or a mom and pop cafe, you had to close. If you own an abortion clinic or a big box store you could stay open and that doesn't make sense. Because the virus doesn't know which buildings it can go into and which it can't" 

Culp is the current Police Chief in Republic, Washington. The Sheriff there is assuming the day to day duties of running the department as Culp campaigns for governor.

Culp first made headlines in 2018 when he announced he would not enforce the gun laws laid out in initiative 16-39.

That started him on the path toward politics. Then the coronavirus hit.

With the coronavirus came the Governor's rules, proclamations and emergency orders.

Culp said if he wins in November, he knows what his first act as Governor will be. 

"If there are any restrictions that are left on when I take my oath of office, they will be lifted immediately, by executive order." said Culp

Culps said he's not worried about Gov. Inslee getting more votes in the Primary. He told KHQ he thinks he can bring the split Republican vote together to rally behind him for the general election.

Our full interview with Loren Culp can be heard the latest episode of our Q6 Hometown Election Podcast. The podcast is available wherever you listen to your podcasts. You can also listen here.

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