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ICYMI: Two Major Washington Papers Endorse Gov. Jay Inslee’s Candidacy
“One of the Nation’s Best Economies”; “Strong Leadership”
Two of Washington State’s Editorial Boards have endorsed Gov. Jay Inslee’s re-election bid citing his “strong leadership” during the pandemic as well as his work to make Washington State “one of the nation’s best economies.” The Union Bulletin, which has twice endorsed Gov. Inslee’s Republican challengers, was won over after the governor displayed “strong leadership during the current COVID-19 pandemic… [when] Washington state desperately needed it.”
Neither editorial had many kind words to say for Gov. Inslee’s challenger, Loren Culp. The Columbian deems him simply “not qualified for this position” and goes so far as to say that he demonstrates “disdain for expertise as well as the law.” The Union Bulletin repeats the first charge, writing that Culp is “not the right fit for Washington nor is he qualified to be governor.”
Read more below:
The Columbian: In Our View: Jay Inslee deserves third term as governor
At a crucial time for our state — and our nation — Washington residents need a steady hand at the helm. Gov. Jay Inslee is a clear choice for election to a third term as governor and has earned the recommendation of The Columbian’s Editorial Board.
As it stands, Inslee’s performance during the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that he is the right person to guide the state through the crisis. He quickly assessed the dangers of the pandemic, and he has acted decisively to manage the situation as well as could be hoped.
While some residents criticize Inslee’s shutdown of schools and businesses, those measures have been essential to slowing the spread of the virus. Washington ranks among the 10 states with the fewest COVID-19 cases per capita, a fact that in the long run will facilitate a swift economic recovery. “We have reduced our infections significantly because we were willing to confront it,” he told the editorial board during a remote interview.
Culp is the chief of a one-person police department in Republic, a city of about 1,100 people in northeast Washington. He came to prominence in 2018 by declining to enforce Initiative 1639, a gun-control measure that passed with 59 percent of the statewide vote. Culp told the editorial board that he believes I-1639 in unconstitutional; but the rule of law leaves that decision to the courts, which thus far have upheld the measure. Culp’s rogue stance does not speak well of his ability or willingness to enforce laws passed by the public and the Legislature.
Culp is trying to build a grassroots campaign through strong criticism of Inslee’s coronavirus response and by holding in-person rallies that ignore COVID restrictions — demonstrating a disdain for expertise as well as the law.
At the same time, Washington is routinely ranked as having one of the nation’s best economies, and Inslee has rightly given much attention to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change. It has been an imperfect tenure, but Inslee remains the best candidate to guide the state for the next four years.
The Columbian Editorial Board strongly recommends Jay Inslee be reelected as governor.
The Union-Bulletin: Inslee’s leadership in pandemic has earned him another term
Jay Inslee is the clear choice for Washington state governor in the Nov. 3 election.
For perspective, this is a new position for this newspaper. In 2012, when Inslee first ran for governor we endorsed then-Attorney General Rob McKenna, a moderate Republican. Four years later, when Inslee was seeking a second term, we endorsed Bill Bryant, also a moderate Republican,
But in 2020 Inslee, a Democrat, has shown strong leadership during the current COVID-19 pandemic. And Washington state desperately needed it.
This spring Washington was the first state in the U.S. to be hit with coronavirus cases at a high rate. For a time, we led the nation in deaths. It was, to put it very mildly, a concerning situation.
But reasonable action was taken to protect Washingtonians from the spread of the disease, including ordering the closure of some businesses and mandating the wearing of face coverings.
As a result, the virus has not grown out of control statewide and the lives of many Washingtonians were saved.
Inslee challenger this year, Republican Loren Culp, is simply not the right fit for Washington nor is he qualified to be governor.
Culp, who is on leave from his job as the police chief in the city of Republic (population 1,073 at the last Census), made a national name for himself when he publicly stated he would not enforce a voter-approved initiative calling for, among other things, a prohibition on 18 to 21 year olds buying semi-automatic weapons because he believes it is not constitutional.
While Culp’s stand is sincere, it’s not acceptable. Police chiefs (or sheriffs or any public officials) don’t decide what is or isn’t constitutional, that’s a final judgment reserved for the judicial system.
His grievances against Inslee are myriad, generally focused on over regulation that creates an anti-business climate in the state.
That’s political rhetoric. U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington state as the third best state economy. It also ranked its business environment third.
Inslee’s strong performance over the past year has served the public well. We recommend voters re-elect him to a third term.