Inslee challenger to try and exploit governor’s coronavirus response

Inslee has been sued over his state’s coronavirus emergency powers

Loren Culp, the Republican police chief who advanced the week to the November ballot to face off against Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, the Democrat, said in an interview published Thursday that the incumbent is vulnerable due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Article one, section one of the Washington state constitution says that the power is inherent in the people, and the government is there to protect citizens’ rights—period,” Culp told KOMO News. “It doesn’t say, ‘Unless there’s a war or unless there’s a virus.’ Jay Inslee is violating that.”

Inslee has been sued over his state’s coronavirus emergency powers and last month a federal judge in Spokane rejected one of the challenges. Inslee announced last month that the state would not be able to relax its restrictions due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Inslee’s s critics have said the guidelines badly damaged the economy.

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Culp, who gained national attention after saying he wouldn’t enforce gun regulations approved by voters in 2018 initiative, told the news station that residents in the state seek a stronger leader who “understands citizens’ rights and will not trample on citizens’ rights,”

The Associated Press contributed to this report