Serving Franklin County, WA

Republicans narrow gap slightly in bid to unseat Gov. Inslee

Gap in King County outcome alone too big to overcome

OLYMPIA - After counting of almost 500,000 late-arriving ballots, Republican candidates have cut into incumbent Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee's lead in the Aug. 4 primarily.

As of 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, Loren Culp had reached 17.17% of the statewide vote, up about a half-a-point since the initial tally.

Gov. Inslee had slipped about the same amount, down to 50.82%.

Despite the slip in percentage, Gov. Inslee will still walk away from the primary with a commanding win.

As of Thursday, Inslee received 872,311 votes and appeared to be on his way to winning 27 counties, including 10 of Eastern Washington's 19 counties.

The top Republican, Culp was nearly a half-million votes behind statewide with 294,797 votes, preliminary elections results show. He was on his way to winning 11 counties.

In Eastern Washington, he appears to have won Klickitat, Okanogan, Douglas, Grant, Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln and Adams Counties.

In the most recent count, Republican Raul Garcia also leads in one county – Garfield. He leads that county with 27.64%, followed by Culp with 25.41%.

Culp's best turnout was in his home county, Ferry County, where he received 57.94%, more than double the 26.02% Inslee received there.

Culp also had strong support from Lewis County in Western Washington. There, he had 53.35% of the vote, again more than double Inslee's support at 24.17%.

Inslee's had strong showings of 72.78% in San Juan County and 68.15% in Jefferson County, both in Western Washington.

East of the Cascades, Inslee's strongest support came from Spokane and Whitman counties, where he received 41.53% and 41.3% respectively. Culp received only 14.61% of the vote in Spokane County and 17.04% in Whitman.

The biggest factor in the total vote count was King County's support for Inslee.

There, Inslee received 332,747 votes, more than the total Culp received statewide. While Inslee received 69.37% of the King County vote while Culp received only 5.01%, or a paltry 24,029 votes.

The difference between Inslee and Culp was 308,718 votes in King County.

That gap will be narrowed in the general election as only Culp and Inslee advance to that contest.

In the primary, remaining Republican candidates Garcia, Joshua Freed, Tim Eyman and Sen. Phil Fortunato combined for a 19.21% of the vote that will presumably shift to Culp.

As of Thursday night, the state was reporting a voter turnout of 37.62%.

Records show 4.61 million ballots had been sent to voters. Only 1.74 million have been tallied, leaving another 2.9 million ballots that are either late-arriving or were not cast.

More ballot counts are planned for next week.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Author photo

Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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