A still from Loren Culp's gripe video
A still from Loren Culp's gripe video (via YouTube)

Grifter and for­mer guber­na­to­r­i­al can­di­date Loren Culp is urg­ing his admir­ers and fol­low­ers to take a pass on fel­low Repub­li­can Dave Reichert’s 2024 cam­paign for gov­er­nor and instead go all in on Semi Bird, the recent­ly oust­ed Rich­land school board mem­ber who was recalled by vot­ers for bla­tant­ly flout­ing state law.

Culp, who used to be employed by Repub­lic as a police­man, denounced Reichert today in a post on Twit­ter, writ­ing: “DNA caught the green riv­er killer, don’t believe the hype. Reichert vot­ed like a looney lib­er­al in Con­gress. Sup­port a real hero for Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton. Here are just some of his cre­den­tials: Bronze Star for Val­or, Pur­ple Heart, Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Medal, Army Com­men­da­tion Medal (4).”

Respons­es to Culp’s post were mixed.

“Yeah — I don’t under­stand the hype sur­round­ing Reichert except he is a famil­iar name. We don’t anoth­er RINO, we need change and that’ll only hap­pen with [Bird],” said a Culp fol­low­er call­ing them­selves the “Ever­green Constitutionalist”.

“Yep. Reichert even went to Ridge­ways [sic] house and talked to him when he had a vic­tim in the house,” said a Culp sup­port­er with the han­dle Chopper2525. “He walked away. Ridge­way was the #1 sus­pect for years and Reichert could­n’t touch him. Only thru DNA was Ridg­way caught.”

Anoth­er Twit­ter user said: “Semi Bird would be a good gov­er­nor, but putting up a strong Repub­li­can in a bright blue state is a los­ing strat­e­gy. Reichart [sic] is the only Repub­li­can who has a chance.”

“Culp wants repub­li­cans to nom­i­nate some­one who will lose by an even big­ger mar­gin than he did,” said a user call­ing them­selves the Ever­green Republican.

Many pro­gres­sives agree that Reichert’s claim to fame — I’m the guy who caught the Green Riv­er Killer — is non­sense. Michael Hood’s excel­lent piece on the sub­ject, avail­able from the blath­er­Watch archives, is worth read­ing.

This isn’t the first time Culp has gone after Reichert.

In a gripe video post­ed to YouTube sev­er­al months ago, Culp called Reichert “the estab­lish­men­t’s pick” and berat­ed him and oth­er “RINOs” — mean­ing Repub­li­cans in Name Only – as unprin­ci­pled and corrupt.

“He is for more gov­ern­ment intru­sion into our lives,” Culp says in the video.

“Reichert even praised Jay Inslee on his han­dling of the pan­dem­ic in an inter­view… which, to me, in and of itself, is absolute­ly pathet­ic. Don’t expect Dave Reichert to stand up for you in the future. He won’t, because he’s weak-mind­ed. He flails in the wind like a loose kite,” Culp adds.

Reichert and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son are the fron­trun­ners in next year’s guber­na­to­r­i­al con­test, accord­ing to NPI’s research. When pit­ted against Bird and Demo­c­ra­t­ic State Sen­a­tor Mark Mul­let in a sur­vey last month, 31% of respon­dents picked Reichert and 31% picked Fer­gu­son. Only 10% said they would vote for Bird, and a mere 5% said they would vote for Mullet.

In a sub­se­quent head-to-head ques­tion, Reichert edged Fer­gu­son, 46% to 44%.

Among Repub­li­can vot­ers, our polling finds Reichert with a more than 2‑to‑1 advan­tage over Bird. Bird’s sup­port was unchanged from our last poll in the spring­time, when he also received 10%. He clear­ly has a few sup­port­ers out there, but our data sug­gests he’s nowhere close to Reichert.

It’s evi­dent from Culp’s com­ments that he sees his views as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Repub­li­can elec­torate in Wash­ing­ton. In anoth­er sec­tion of his gripe video, Culp brags about how he received more votes than Rob McKen­na and Bill Bryant, Jay Inslee’s 2012 and 2016 Repub­li­can oppo­nents. How­ev­er, any Repub­li­can could have accom­plished that because the uni­verse of reg­is­tered vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton has been increas­ing with each pres­i­den­tial cycle.

There were 3,904,959 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the 2012 elec­tion, 4,270,270 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the 2016 elec­tion, and 4,892,871 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the 2020 election.

Since it’s not pos­si­ble to do an apples-to-apples com­par­i­son with absolute num­bers of vot­ers from dif­fer­ent cycles, let’s con­sid­er the per­cent­ages: Rob McKen­na got 48.46% of the vote when he ran, Bill Bryant got 45.61%, and Loren Culp got 43.12%. Culp’s per­for­mance in 2020 was objec­tive­ly worse than either Bryant or McKen­na; he was Gov­er­nor Inslee’s weak­est opponent.

The only rea­son Culp made it to the gen­er­al elec­tion with Inslee is because Repub­li­cans failed to recruit a strong can­di­date for gov­er­nor in 2020. Culp’s Repub­li­can com­peti­tors includ­ed Tim Eyman, Joshua Freed, and Raul Gar­cia, none of whom had the name recog­ni­tion or stature of some­one like Reichert, McKen­na, or even Bryant. The right wing elec­torate was sub­stan­tial­ly split, and Culp earned a spot on the gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot with a mere 17.41% of the Top Two vote.

Even if Semi Bird starts get­ting more trac­tion and winds up per­form­ing as well as Culp did in the elim­i­na­tion round, he’d still prob­a­bly lose to Reichert next sum­mer. To eclipse Reichert, Bird would have to sig­nif­i­cant­ly broad­en his base of vot­ers. But that’s going to be excep­tion­al­ly hard to do giv­en his check­ered his­to­ry, cam­paign cash­flow and com­pli­ance dif­fi­cul­ties, and extreme, ultra MAGA views.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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One reply on “Loren Culp backs Semi Bird for governor, calls frontrunner Dave Reichert “a looney liberal””

  1. That is cor­rect. Reichert is a Repub­li­can In Name Only and agrees lock-step with Inslee on lock­downs and tax­es (as he sup­port­ed the gas tax increase).

    Edi­tor’s Note: This com­ment was edit­ed to com­ply with NPI’s Com­ment­ing Guide­lines.

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