Is Loren Culp a human sacrifice?

This article contains biting liberal commentary.

Not literally. But in politics, the term “human sacrifice” is often applied to unserious candidates who not only have no chance of winning, but no chance of making a respectable showing. They’re typically nominated as ballot filler in hopeless races. Is Loren Culp, the 2020 GOP nominee for Washington governor, such a candidate?

Serious gubernatorial candidates usually have worked their way up the political ladder and earned a statewide reputation along the way. For example, Washington’s incumbent governor, Jay Inslee, previously was a multi-term congressman representing a Seattle-area district, and his predecessor was a two-term state attorney general.

Loren Culp is a small-town police chief in one of Washington’s geographically remotest corners who’s never run for elective office before (and therefore likely doesn’t know much about campaigning).

The Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) didn’t put up a serious candidate for Washington governor this year; the GOP primary ballot was filled with whoever felt like being on it, nearly all of whom were people voters never heard of before, and Culp’s best-known (although not closest) competitor was disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who most recently was in the news for shoplifting an office chair from Office Depot. (See primary results here)

In short, Culp hasn’t built the kind of resume that serious gubernatorial contenders typically have. Governors typically have legislative experience, because a big part of the job is shepherding bills through the legislature. There’s no reason to believe Culp has any knowledge or understanding of the legislative process, or would be effective in passing legislation.

What he does have is a semi-trailer truckload of conservative ideology, starting with guns. His second most prominent claim to fame, and the backbone of his campaign, is his very public refusal to enforce a voter-passed gun safety initiative.

But he’s best known for this:

“In a long-running lawsuit, a woman accuses police and deputies in Ferry County of failing to properly investigate when she reported a pattern of rape and molestation spanning 12 years of her childhood. Among the defendants is Loren Culp, who is now the police chief in the town of Republic and a Republican candidate for Washington governor. The lawsuit alleges Culp and two other law enforcement officers intimidated the victim, threatened to charge her with making false claims and failed to report her allegations to child welfare authorities as required by law.”

(Read story here.) But Culp isn’t just a gadfly with a troubled record as a small-town cop; he’s also an extremist of the most extreme sort, i.e. a borderline “sovereign citizen” type:

“Culp … has unapologetically embraced the … radical right—primarily, a far-right ‘constitutionalist’ organization, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, that … recruits law-enforcement officers into a belief system that includes the notion that the county sheriff is the highest law officer in the land whose edicts supersede state and federal laws and the officers who enforce them. (‘Constitutionalists’ also believe that the federal government is not permitted to own public lands, and that federal taxes are not permitted under the law.)”

(Read story here.) This is Bundy Ranch stuff. As a philosophy of governance, it’s geared more to places where most residents are jackrabbits than say Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York City, i.e., places where life and governing are a bit more complex than in Republic, Washington, a town of 1,000 people. Seriously.

So Culp isn’t just a gadfly; he’s a gadfly and a nut, and it’s kinda frightening that he has law enforcement authority in any jurisdiction, even a tiny one.

And yeah, he’s a “human sacrifice” of the political campaign variety, the kind of sacrificial candidate who jumps, or is thrown, into the election cauldron when a party doesn’t have a serious candidate. In the latter respect, Culp is about as unserious as they come (although you could plausibly argue that Eyman is even less serious).

How will he do in November? He’ll get 42%, because that’s what all GOP human sacrifices get on statewide ballots in Washington. You don’t have to be somebody; you don’t have to be anybody; you only have to have an “R” after your name to get 42%. So when Culp gets 42% of the statewide vote, he shouldn’t let it go to his head, because it was Candidate R, not Loren Culp, who got those votes.

And he will go to bed on November 3, 2020, knowing that a guinea pig could’ve done it.

Photos: Above right, Loren Culp; above left, one of Culp’s political and intellectual peers; bottom right, Culp’s platform; below, Republican human sacrifice ritual. 

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    Unless Governor Ensley has handed Culp victory. Won’t the Republicans be surprised. Not like the Republicans are really trying to win so far.
    Hurray for one party rule!

  2. A shady ( guinea) pig #

    A human sacrifice? No. A shady (guinea) pig.

    Republicans should put up decent candidates.

    But where are the decent candidates? There aren’t any among the extremists, so that is why you end up with a (guinea) pig.

  3. Roger Rabbit #

    There are no decent Republican candidates, because there are no decent Republicans in Washington state anymore, just a troubled band of misfits. When a major political party has only Eymans and Culps, it’s no longer a major political party. Mark complains about “one party rule” in his comment above, but Democrats can’t create their opposition. The collapse of the GOP in Washington state is something Republicans did to themselves.

  4. Roger Rabbit #

    With the votes now counted, we can see how this turned out. Culp got 43%, i.e. the guinea pig vote plus 1%.