Inslee, Culp advance to November election for governor

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican Police Chief Loren Culp have advanced through Tuesday’s “top two” primary.

Inslee was leading decisively in early returns. More than 30 other people also ran in the gubernatorial primary, vying to face Inslee in the fall.

The 69-year-old Inslee is seeking a rare third term as governor, a decision he made after ending his presidential campaign last year. Governors in Washington state aren’t subject to term limits, though most haven’t served more than two terms. The last three-term governor in Washington was Republican Gov. Dan Evans, who served from 1965 until 1977.

Inslee is a former congressman and served as Democratic Governors Association chairman in 2018.

Republican police chief Loren Culp was finishing second as early ballots were counted. Culp is police chief of the town of Republic and author of the book “American Cop: Upholding the Constitution and Defending Your Right to Bear Arms.”

He got national attention after saying he wouldn’t enforce gun regulations approved by voters in 2018 initiative. Initiative 1639 raised the age limit to buy some weapons from 18 to 21 and requires enhanced background checks for people who buy those weapons. The law also makes a person criminally liable if their gun isn’t secured with a trigger lock or kept in a gun safe and it’s used to cause injury or death.

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