WA Gov Debate: Inslee Versus the Fringe


Republic Police Chief and gun-safety scofflaw Loren Culp managed to put forward a less-than-terrifying persona at Wednesday’s debate with Gov. Jay Inslee. He almost seemed reasonable at times.

But for a police chief on a force of two whose signature issue has been refusal to enforce a law restricting assault weapon sales to adults 21 and older hardly bolstered confidence in elevating the backwater cop to the office of governor in charge of 68,000 state employees and an annual budget of double-digit billions.

Inslee, who maintained his cool against a fringe candidate who dropped out of high school, explained his virus-containment policies for the grown-ups watching the debate. The governor’s departing shot pointed out Culp’s failure to model responsible behavior with his hosting of mass gatherings without masks or social distancing in violation of pandemic policy.

Culp stood his ground on personal liberty as paramount in the state’s frustrated campaign to get Covid-19 under control. I doubt most Washingtonians were persuaded that god and guns will protect them from the worst public health crisis in a century.

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Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.


  1. Why did the WA state GOP end up with such a marginal candidate as Culp? Given the huge albatross of Trump in a blue state, quality Republicans took a pass. The party has survived these fiascos before, but this is really tempting fate. The other problem is the loss of decent suburban Seattle candidates, who hold the key by fending off the King County flood of Democratic votes. And keep in mind that if Inslee heeds the call to D.C., there could be a new governor’s race in November 2021 or 2022.


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