World News – US – Inslee and Culp argue over COVID-19 in only governor’s debate


OLYMPIA, Wash (AP) – Democratic government Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp met in their first and only debate on Wednesday evening, immediately at odds over the state’s response to the pandemic coronavirus

Due to COVID-19, candidates participated in the televised debate from separate rooms at the Olympia headquarters of TVW, the state’s government affairs channel

Inslee said her virus warrants that initially closed or restricted many businesses and required masks and social distancing saved lives

Culp, police chief of a small town in eastern Washington, has campaigned against Inslee’s coronavirus restrictions such as mandatory masks, saying they violate the constitutional rights of citizens Inslee says his measures have saved lives at a time when President Donald Trump, who recently contracted the virus, downplays its severity

Culp, who has said he wants to debate in the same room as Inslee, said if he had been governor he would have spread the news and let people decide what is best for them about the virus

“I strongly believe in individual liberty and liberty, I believe in security,” Culp said “The problem is when a person sitting in the governor’s office tells everyone what she’s going to wear, if she’s going to work or if she’s not going to work, that’s the problem I had with that « 

Inslee said Culp did not model leadership on the severity of COVID-19 during his campaign, citing his large rallies of supporters without masks or social distancing

« It’s too dangerous to have a mini-Trump right now in the midst of this pandemic, » Inslee said « Our efforts against this pandemic are working It’s saving lives and we have to keep doing it »

As of this week, there have been more than 91,000 confirmed cases in Washington since the start of the pandemic and more than 2,100 people have died For the most part, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, which goes away in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown But for some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death

Inslee, who is seeking to become the first incumbent elected to a third term in the state in over 40 years, faced 35 challengers in the August primaries He got just over 50% of the vote, Culp coming in second with over 17%

Washington state governors are not subject to term limits, although most did not serve more than two terms The last three-term governor in Washington was Republican Gov Dan Evans, who served from 1965 to 1977

Inslee is a former congressman and served as president of the Democratic Governors Association in 2018 His six-month tenure as president last year focused on climate change, an issue that has been at the heart of his two terms as governor

He said that while he does not deny that the climate is changing, « these are not climate fires, but the result of very mismanagement at the state level »

Inslee said whoever runs for governor must have a plan to tackle climate change

« We need someone who will not only follow the science, but act on it, » Inslee said

Both candidates were asked about Boeing’s decision to consolidate production of its 787 twin-aisle airliner in South Carolina and shut down the aircraft’s original assembly line in Everett, and Inslee comments that remaining tax breaks for the aerospace giant will need to be revisited

Culp said Inslee’s mandates and regulations had hurt businesses and he said he would work to make the state more business friendly

Inslee countered that the state’s ranking in reports of places to move or do business

« If this is such a terrible place to do business, why do these companies keep coming here and growing? » He asked

On a question about the frequent skirmishes between police and protesters during months of protests against police brutality following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Culp said he would have taken a tougher stand

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« We all have the right to peacefully assemble and voice our opinion, » he said « When it gets violent it’s no longer a First Amendment right, it’s a crime »

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« Tens of thousands of people demonstrated peacefully, tens of thousands marched without breaking windows, without starting fires and in the midst of them, these people entered and caused violence », a- he declared « This violence is unacceptable to all of us, whatever the source, and it must stop »

On the state’s economy, which saw its revenues plummet during the pandemic, Culp said he would start with new programs or pay increases for state officials and review the individual reduction programs

<< don't want to rush to make cuts before they get the big picture

Ballots to be sent to more than four states7 million voters next week and election officials expect record turnout

Jay Inslee, Washington, Debate, Republican Party, Democratic Party

World News – US – Inslee and Culp fight over COVID-19 in only governor’s debate



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