Republic Police Chief gets help from Trump campaign manager

RaeLynn Ricarte

Republic Police Chief Loren Culp’s life has taken many twists and turns in the past year, after he stepped forward to lead the rebellion against Initiative 1639 gun control laws, and another occurred last week.
Through the help of his friend, Ted Nugent, an American singer and songwriter, Culp secured the services of political consultant Chris Gergen to manage his gubernatorial campaign.
“We’re going big time,” said Culp. 
Gergen, who founded the firm Dark Horse Political in 2015, helped run President Donald Trump’s successful campaign in 2016, working in both Oregon and Florida. He is a Navy veteran who was based at Woodby Island and will soon be returning to Washington to get things set up for Culp’s primary next August against three other Republicans and, if he prevails, a challenge in November 2020 against incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat.
Also running on the GOP ticket is State Sen. Phil Fortunato of Auburn, Joshua Freed, a real estate developer and former mayor of Bothell, and Anton Sakharov, a Maple Valley program manager. 
“If somebody told me a year ago that all of this would happen, I would have told them they were nuts. It’s absolutely amazing,” said Culp.
He said having someone managing the campaign with Gergen’s long years of experience in the national arena, is a benefit he couldn’t have foreseen.
“This all came about because Ted was talking to him one day and Chris was trying to talk about someone he was working with and Ted just kept talking about me until Chris finally said, ‘Who is Loren Culp? Tell me about him…’”
After that conversation, Culp said Gergen contacted him and last week, committed his efforts to the campaign.
A Republican has not sat in the governor’s seat since 1980, but Culp said his greatest level of support is coming from the west side of the state, so he believes people are seeing how badly the state is being run under liberal policies.
“I know that I won’t get the vote of the extreme left but I think there are a lot of Democrats who aren’t comfortable with the way things are going and they are ready for change,” he said. 
In October, Culp received the Chief of Police of the Decade from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. He was given the honor for “his unprecedented stance for liberty and the example he has set for all peace officers through the United States in defense of the people's right to keep and bear arms.”
Culp attended the award ceremony in Mesa, Arizona, and gave a statement that he is basing his campaign upon: “Our state and our nation are at a crossroads. The question facing voters in Washington is, ‘Do we want to continue to support leaders who continually find new ways to assault our liberties and freedoms, or do we want to elect leaders who actually support and defend the Constitution while making real progress in combating our state's most pressing issues?’”
Culp said Inslee fully supports taking away people’s lawful gun rights, but refuses to do anything about King County prosecutors allowing people to possess small amounts of heroin, meth and crack, in violation of state and federal law. Culp said law enforcement officers have been told not to arrest people for holding three grams of heroin, about 30 doses, or less because the case won’t be prosecuted. 
Therefore, Culp said Inslee is hypocritical to declare an emergency ban against vaping, when it is responsible for far fewer deaths than the three major drugs. 
“As long as drug dealers are carrying only a small amount of heroin in Seattle, they don’t have to worry about being arrested,” said Culp “Yet, Inslee is talking about how important it is to stop kids from being addicted to vaping — what about also stopping them from becoming addicted to heroin, meth or crack?”
In 2017, heroin and opioids accounted for 69 percent of King County's 370 drug-overdose deaths, which Culp said is a major concern. He said one wrong dose can be fatal, yet Inslee refuses to addresss the problem.
He said King County’s plan has resulted in an infestation of illegal tent encampments built around drugs, and criminal behavior by addicts who reject treatment. 
“It is not fair for law-abiding citizens to have to live with this threat,” said Culp. “The primary duty of government is public safety and King County is failing miserably.”
He said the biggest population centers are sited on the west side of the state so Inslee caters to these potential voters. He seems not to care how policies enacted in Olympia play out in the rest of the state.
For example, Culp said wolves killing cattle is a growing problem in Northeastern Washington, but Inslee's answer is to seek more protection for the predators at the expense of ranchers.
In September, Inslee asked the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to explore whether federal agencies would amend grazing policies on public lands to remove cattle from wolf habitat.
Not only is it beneficial for cattle to graze on these lands to reduce vegetation that contributes to catastrophic wildfires, ranchers are growing America's food and beef contributes millions to the state's economy.
“It is time for Eastern Washington to have a voice,” Culp said. “I am committed to working with members of the state legislature to pass legislation that addresses these and other issues facing our state.”