REPUBLIC – The small-town law enforcement officer who rose to prominence with many 2nd-Amendment supporters after refusing to enforce Washington Initiative-1639 and penning a book about his stance on the right to bear arms is now preparing a full-scale assault to become the next governor of the Evergreen State.
Republic police chief Loren Culp officially threw his name in the running in late July and iFIBER ONE News recently had the chance to sit down with Culp and find out more about his latest endeavor, starting with why he decided to run.
“The response from everyone about my book and the issues was tremendous and it just grew every week,” explained Culp. “People started asking me if I would run for governor. At first, I just didn’t really think about it, but as the voices grew from the people that I was meeting and talking to, I decided to run for governor.”
There are several issues that Culp is basing the foundations of his campaign upon, including one which he considers to be of especially critical importance.
“The so-called housing crisis, which I don’t believe is a housing crisis at all. It’s an addiction and a mental health crisis,” detailed Culp. “There’s not a shortage of houses. There’s not a shortage of housing. But probably 95 to 99 percent of the people who are on the streets are addicted – to heroin or meth or alcohol. And there are a lot of mental health issues as well that go along with that. I’ve dealt with the opioid crisis right here in Republic and I know how to do it.”
Culp’s pragmatic ideology is spelled out in the language of his campaign slogan - “Send Common Sense to Olympia.” A message he links not only to his current political stances, but to his entire life, including as a small business owner in the 1980’s and 90’s.
“I’ve just had common sense my whole life,” said Culp. “I used to live over by Olympia and I ran a construction company over there for over 20 years. In fact, my youngest son is still running that business to this day. I started it in 1988 with a small Datsun pickup and a single-axle, homemade trailer, packing concrete forms from one job site to another, making multiple trips since I was just starting out (and) couldn’t afford a big truck.”
“I built that into multiple trucks and multiple employees doing jobs all around Puget Sound from backyard patios to multi-million-dollar projects,” recalled Culp. “So, common sense is something you have to have in order to run a business and I know what it takes to run a small business in this state.”
Although he has made appearances at several rallies hosted by the Liberty State movement, a group which seeks to create a 51st U.S. state by dividing Washington in two, Culp emphasized that his run for governor is not based on an East versus West mentality.
“I support the entire state of Washington,” explained Culp. “It is lawful and constitutional for people to want to divide a state, but I’m for the entire state of Washington.”
In spite of knowing the uphill climb he faces of likely running against a two-term incumbent with far more financial backing in a state that hasn’t elected a republican governor in almost 40 years, Culp refused to blink when asked the most important question of all.
“I believe I can win,” said Culp. “Because there are people on both sides of the aisle, not the extremes, but people on both sides – democrat, republic, independent – they have common sense and they know what’s going on right now is wrong but it’s being allowed by our leadership. That needs to change, and I will change that.”
iFIBER ONE has also reached out to the other gubernatorial candidates