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Police chief who opposed I-1639 running for Washington governor

Republic Police Chief Loren Culp received national attention for his opposition to Washington state's controversial Initiative 1639.

REPUBLIC, Wash. – A police chief in eastern Washington who has received national attention for his opposition to a state gun safety initiative says he will run for governor. 

A Facebook page in support of Republic Police Chief Loren Culp announced his run for Washington's governor in 2020 on social media, adding that the group will hold a campaign kickoff in the Republic City Park from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Culp’s campaign website outlines key issues he hopes to address, including addiction and mental health, individual freedom and liberty, smaller government, and support for veterans and police.

"Career politicians have been running the government in Olympia for far too long; it’s time we elect more ‘We the People’ into government positions," Culp's website reads. 

Culp is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a lifelong Washington resident, according to his website. He has been married to his high school sweetheart Barbara for 41 years and is a father of two and grandfather of seven.

Culp also authored the book “American Cop,” which focuses on his opposition to Washington state’s Initiative 1639. The gun safety initiative raised the legal age to purchase firearms in the state and required enhanced background checks, among other qualifications.

The book also includes a foreword by singer and political activist Ted Nugent.

In November, Culp received national attention for proposing that his jurisdiction become a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City” after the passage of I-1639.

He said the sanctuary city law would keep the department from enforcing legislation that violates the 2nd Amendment. 

Later that month, the city council delayed a vote on Culp's proposed ordinance. 

RELATED: Republic City Council delays vote on 2nd Amendment sanctuary city ordinance

RELATED: Eastern Wash. police chief proposes sanctuary city to protect 2nd Amendment Monday

Culp initially posted about the right to bear arms on Nov. 7 – the day after Election Day.

“I’ve taken 3 public oaths, one in the US Army and Two as a police officer. All of them included upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States of America. The second amendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. As long as I am Chief of Police, no Republic Police Officer will infringe on a citizens right to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!” Culp wrote on Facebook.

Culp is one among many members of law enforcement in the state who have voiced opposition to the initiative.

RELATED: NRA suing to block Initiative 1639

RELATED: Could Washington sheriffs face consequences for not enforcing I-1639?