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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

Jay Inslee leading in primary election results in nearly 70% of WA counties

Incumbent Jay Inslee led in Washington State's primary by winning the majority votes in 3/4 of the total counties in the state (27 out of 39 counties). In Tuesday’s count of votes, The Seattle Times reported that current Governor Inslee took 52% to lead the 36-candidate primary field. Culp received about 17%, with initiative sponsor Tim Eyman and former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed at about 7% each. Yakima physician Raul Garcia took 5% and state Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn had about 4%. As of Thursday, thousands more ballots remain to be counted in the coming days. The top two vote recipients witch are likely Inslee and Culp will face off on the Nov. 3 general election.

Inslee, launched his third-term bid for governor after an unsuccessful, climate-change focused run for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is widely favored to win reelection for the governor's seat. The people of Washington have not elected a Republican governor since John Spellman in 1980. Inslee’s election-night vote share was up from his primary performance four years ago, when he received 49% of the vote in an 11-candidate field. He was running at 70% support in Tuesday’s vote count in King County.

The Times also reported that, In a statement on the results, Inslee thanked voters and pointed to “bold, progressive” policies passed during his time as governor, and said at such a pivotal time, “Washington state needs the opposite of “Trump-style chaos.” Culp, in a phone interview from his “Insubordinate Victory” election-night rally in Leavenworth, said many voters, including Democrats, are fed up with Inslee’s executive orders restricting businesses and requiring mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Culp followed his small victory with a large scale crowd outside of Leavenworth promoting a “exercise [their] freedom.” event. A first-time candidate, Culp rose from anonymity to prominence among conservatives after publicly declaring he would not enforce Initiative 1639, the 2018 voter-approved initiative that placed new restrictions on gun-buying and storage. Culp's primary campaign, which raised more than $1.2 million on the strength of many small-dollar donations, spent little on traditional advertising, relying instead on crowded rallies with country music bands, 12,000 yard signs and an enthusiastic following on social media, where his live video streams consistently draw big audiences.

Culp, the police chief of Republic, a town of about 1,100 in Ferry County, ran a campaign vowing noncompliance with Inslee’s executive orders on mask-wearing and large gatherings, contending they were unconstitutional infringements on liberty.

ARTICLE BY: Jim Brunner at The Seattle Times / portions by MLWA 7

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