Seattle, Washington 2020-10-08 13:15:00 –
OLYMPIA – Democratic Governor Jay Inslee and Republican Loren Culp clashed Wednesday over COVID restrictions, climate change and gun rights in their only televised debate ahead of the November 3 election.
With the ballots mailed out next week, the hour-long match provided many voters with an introduction to Culp and revealed the stark difference between his political beliefs, political approaches and leadership style and those from Inslee.
Although the pandemic prevented them from sharing a scene – the men spoke from separate studios at TVW’s headquarters in Olympia – that did not deter the challenger from qualifying the management of the state’s response to the coronavirus by the candidate leaving two terms too severe. a hidden mandate and limits on the rate at which it allows counties to reopen their economies and the population to regain a certain normalcy in its daily life.
“The problem is when you have a person in the governor’s office who tells everyone what they’re going to wear,” he says. “I will be a governor who understands the role of servant of state government. We need someone to represent “We the people” and defend the rights of citizens. ”
Inslee has defended his leadership of the state through the unknown waters of the pandemic. He acknowledged that the limits of social gatherings and businesses are “hard on the people,” but this reduces the rate of infection.
“It works. It works tremendously, ”he said, stressing that his decisions are based on science. “We save lives.”
Inslee, in a return of rhetorical fire, equated Culp’s disdain for wearing a mask and respecting the rules of physical distancing with the views espoused by President Donald Trump and said “it is too dangerous to ‘have a mini-Trump’ in charge in the midst of the pandemic.
Inslee, 69, is seeking a third consecutive term, a feat accomplished by only one former governor, Dan Evans, a Republican, from 1965 to 1977. Anthony Langlie, also a Republican, served three terms in total, but not consecutively.
Inslee’s political career began with two terms at State House in the late 1980s, followed by two tours and 16 years in Congress, and the last eight years as CEO of Washington.
Culp, 59, the police chief of the Republic, a small town in Ferry County, is making his first candidacy for an elected post. He’s trying to become the state’s first Republican governor since the 1980s.
Culp found himself in the state and nation’s spotlight when he said he would not enforce the 1639 Initiative’s gun regulations, a measure approved by voters in 2018. In election campaign, where he holds rallies attracting hundreds of unmasked supporters, he promises freedoms and erasing restrictions on business and social activities put in place by Inslee to slow the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus.
Several questions on Wednesday focused on civil unrest in Seattle, police reform and gun rights.
Inslee defended his response to the violent protests in Seattle and questioned Culp’s claim to be a candidate for public order when he would not apply the initiative.
Culp, who called Inslee “soft on crime,” said the state had no problem with gun violence.
“We have a problem of criminal violence,” he said, criticizing the governor for releasing more than 1,000 inmates earlier to deal with the coronavirus in state prisons. He said, without details, that there were other answers the governor could have taken.
The foundation of Culp’s philosophy is the Constitution and he wrote a book, “American Cop,” in which he sets out the foundational document and the application of the law.
“We need someone to represent ‘We the people’ and defend the rights of citizens,” he said.
Inslee also wrote a book, “Apollo’s Fire,” which is her roadmap for building a clean energy economy.
The two differed over whether climate change has led to more damaging forest fires.
“The governor calls these climatic fires. I am not denying climate change. These are not climate fires, ”Culp said. A lack of forest management is the main contributing factor, he said.
Inslee disagreed and said it was dangerous to have someone running for governor who “has no policies to beat climate change”.
Ballots will be mailed out before October 16.
Jerry Cornfield: 360 352 8623; email@example.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.