Washington State’s Republican candidate for governor, Loren Culp, announced on a Facebook live video on Wednesday that he lost his job as police chief a few days before the election.
The city council for the city of Republic, Washington held a special meeting on October 30th. In that meeting, they voted 3-1 to defund the city’s one-man police department and to instead contract with the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office for their law enforcement needs.
This vote eliminated Culp’s job from the city.
“A hundred and twenty year tradition of Republic having its own police force,” Culp said. “Think about that. A hundred and twenty year’s tradition, just voted on by four people on the city council to defund it and do away with it. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s unthinkable to me.”
Culp has been a police officer for Republic for ten years, serving as its chief of police for the past four years.
With the approval of the mayor, Culp took a leave of absence in September in order to focus on the remaining weeks of his campaign against incumbent Democratic Governor Jay Inslee. The Ferry County sheriff’s office has been filling in for Culp’s absence.
In his video, Culp alleged that the Ferry County sheriff must be “in on it”, “making some kind of deal” with the city council in order for this vote to have occurred.
The city of Republic is the seat of Ferry County, a county lying to the east of the Cascade mountain range and bordering Canada. It has a population of around 1,000.
“I love the city of Republic,” Culp told his audience. “I love the tradition of having our own police department.”
“Seems kind of back-handed,” he added. “Feels like a knife in the back.”
The gubernatorial race was called on Tuesday for incumbent Governor Inslee with 60% of the vote. Inslee is the first incumbent to be elected to a third term in over 40 years.
Culp has not yet conceded the race, saying that there are things not adding up with the votes:
“My team is looking into that. We’re diving deep into the numbers. Some things are not adding up so we’re looking into that. We’re not conceding anything.”