Trump-backed candidate in Wash. House race appears to stall

Trump Backed Candidate In Wash. House Race Appears To Stall
Ted S. Warren - staff, AP

FILE - Republican Loren Culp greets a large crowd, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at a rally near Graham, Wash., during his unsuccessful run for governor. Culp is now challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse in Washington's 4th U.S. House District. He has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump but has lagged other Republican candidates in reported fundraising figures.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The insurgent candidate backed by former President Donald Trump appears to be stalling in a crowded field of Republicans challenging the GOP incumbent for a U.S. House seat in conservative central Washington state.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a four-term congressman, has drawn primary challengers thanks in part to being among the few in his party who voted to impeach President Donald Trump. Perhaps the best known outside candidate in Washington’s 4th Congressional District’s intraparty feud is Loren Culp, who’s running against his own Republican Party as much as he is against Newhouse.

Culp, a former small town police chief who lost the 2020 governor’s race to Democrat Jay Inslee but refused to concede, won Trump’s endorsement in February, but has lagged other candidates in reported fundraising figures.

Trump’s influence among GOP voters is being tested in midterm elections across the country this year as he looks to flex his power and punish his enemies ahead of a possible 2024 presidential campaign. Trump has vowed to take down the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him over the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and four have already announced they won’t be seeking re-election. So far, Trump has found mixed success in his endorsement record, but it’s still early in the primary season.

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