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Jay Inslee, Loren Culp agree to televised gubernatorial debate

Gubernatorial incumbent Jay Inslee and challenger Loren Culp will debate from separate rooms in Olympia on Oct. 7.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video originally aired in Aug. 2020.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp have agreed to a televised debate on Oct. 7. 

The debate will be broadcast live from 8 to 9 p.m., just after that evening’s vice presidential debate, according to the Washington State Debate Coalition.

The candidates will participate in the debate from separate rooms at the Olympia headquarters of the state’s government affairs channel, TVW. Debate coalition spokesperson Lincoln Vander Veen says it will be broadcast statewide by major Washington TV stations. 

A debate between the candidates for Washington Lieutenant Governor – state Sen. Marko Liias and U.S. Rep. Denny Heck – will air from 8 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 22.

Culp's journey to become a gubernatorial candidate began with his decision as police chief of Republic in eastern Washington to not enforce Washington state's gun control initiative I-1639. That led to appearances in the media, a book tour and the start of his campaign.

The Republican from Republic is the self-declared "law and order" candidate.

Culp led a KING 5 statewide survey of Inslee challengers prior to primary election day. That same survey showed historic disapproval and head-to-head polling for President Donald Trump. 

Culp advanced to the general election with 17% of the vote in the primary, ahead of Republicans Joshua Freed (9%), Tim Eyman (6%), Raul Garcia (5%) and Phil Fortunato (4%).

Meanwhile, Inslee advanced to the general election with 50% of the vote, with other Democratic candidates securing 1% of the vote or less.

Inslee released a statement after primary election results came in.

"It’s an honor to receive the support of Washington voters during these extraordinarily challenging times. Only by coming together as a state can we defeat this virus, reopen our economy, and build upon the progress we have made these past 8 years,” he said. 

He touted the state's "bold, progressive policies" passed during his term.

"At such a pivotal moment, Washington state needs the opposite of Trump-style chaos," he said. "We need strong, steady leadership united around our common goals and values. I thank you for your support and look forward to hearing from all Washington voters and continuing to serve the people of our state.”

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