City of Republic defunds the police, Ferry Co says Culp has a job if he wants it
WASHINGTON GOVERNOR CANDIDATE LOREN CULP REFUSES TO CONCEDE, DOUBLES-DOWN ON CLAIMS OF 'IRREGULARITIES' Secretary of State Kim Wyman said her department has not received evidence of issues with the tabulation process.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp continued on Wednesday to claim that his team sees “irregularities” in the election process, and he refused to concede the race to Democrat and incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee.
Inslee, reelected to a third term in office, led Culp by wide margins in early returns and flipped Walla Walla County with an Inslee and Biden mojority vote.
During Culp's election night speech, the candidate questioned how a solid majority could have voted to uphold Referendum 90, on mandatory comprehensive sexual education in public schools.
Culp said those results gave him pause.
”We’re seeing some irregularities,” Culp said. “Some things that make you go, ‘Really?’”
Updated results on Wednesday showed Culp and that referendum both continuing to trail by large differences.
During a Facebook Live address to his supporters Wednesday, Culp again refused to concede, and continued to claim that there were issues with the "tabulation."
“Every vote is going to be counted. We’re digging into the numbers,” said Culp, “Because something smells fishy… Imagine that.”
Inslee, declared the winner by the Associated Press moments after ballots were due Tuesday night, called his opponents comments “dangerous.”
“I think it’s grossly irresponsible,” Inslee said Wednesday. “Nobody should do that… it diminishes the credibility of the democratic system and it’s a serious issue.”
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican who oversees elections in the state, said while individual voter issues were sorted at county elections offices, she has not heard of widespread improprieties, nor has her office been contacted by Culp's campaign.
“I’m not sure what he’s referencing,” Wyman said. “If any candidate, including candidate Culp, wants to come and talk and wants questions answered I am here and I’d be happy to do that.”
Wyman said she was proud of how the state and county election departments have handled the 2020 election, amid what could be record voter turnout and a pandemic.
Also in Culp's Facebook Live call on Wednesday, he said the city of Republic had "defunded" the police department, including his job as police chief, in order to contract law enforcement to the Ferry County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Ray Maycumber said his department and city offices have been inundated with phone calls from Culp supporters, one day after Culp went on Facebook and said his department was defunded and he no longer had a job. Culp also lost his bid to be Washington governor this week.
What actually happened was that Ferry County and the City of Republic agreed that it made more sense for the sheriff’s office to handle law enforcement services for Republic. For quite some time, Culp has been the only employee of the department.
Sheriff Maycumber says the city is financially distressed and asked the county to provide law enforcement services for the next two years.
“The City has retained ownership of their police equipment and vehicles and can quickly stand the Republic Police Department back up if they feel it is cost effective and in the best interest of their citizens,” he said.
Sheriff Maycumber also cites a state law that Culp “can be brought over to the County as a peace officer and his seniority transfers as if he’s worked for the county since the day he began with the City of Republic.” The sheriff also says Culp would then have union and civil service protections. “I look forward to working with him again if that is his choice.”
Article By: TEGNA KING 5 SEA / KXLY 4 TV SPOKANE