Loren Culp fires back against 'hit piece' Republican challengers offered up to media

RaeLynn Ricarte

Republic Police Chief Loren Culp has emerged from a crowded field of gubernatorial candidates as the sole challenger to incumbent Jay Inslee, which he said is a victory made sweeter by the fact that a “hit piece” failed to oust him.

Despite the negative media coverage just before the Aug. 4 primary election, Culp said people are drawn to his “Washington’s Comeback” campaign because he stands for “common sense, American values.”

What troubled Culp most about articles published in the Seattle Times, Spokesman-Review and other news outlets was learning that reporters had been handed information for the articles by some of the 15 other Republicans in the race.

The articles centered on a lawsuit filed in 2017 by a woman, now 23, who alleges that Culp and two other law enforcement officers from Ferry County mishandled the sex abuse complaint she filed against her stepfather, Roy Moore, seven years ago.

“The stories made it sound like I was a police chief who sided with a pedophile,” said Culp. “Those stories had one purpose, which was to knock me out of the race, but I think that voters could see through the lines.”

The suit alleges that the woman was interviewed by Ferry County authorities in 2013 about being molested by Moore from the age of 5. She was 17 when she reportedly disclosed the abuse to Matt Beard, a 23-year-old reserve officer for the city of Republic, whom she had been dating for several weeks.

What wasn’t given any media attention was the staunch support of the woman’s mother, Dixie Konz, for Culp, or her strong belief that her daughter lied to punish Moore immediately after he forbade her relationship with Beard.

“It’s been really hard to see these stories written about Loren and know that they are not the truth,” she said. “He and I worked together at the city and we got along because we both have core characters that require us to do the right thing, no matter how hard it is.”

She said the right thing to do in the pending lawsuit is to testify on behalf of Culp and Ferry County Sheriff’s Deputy Talon Ventura, who was the lead investigator in the case.

Read the full story in the August 19, 2020 Statesman-Examiner.