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.
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