Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp drew a large crowd Friday evening at a rally hosted on private property off Shaw Road in Yelm.

With no masks in sight and very little social distancing, close to 500 people gathered with lawn chairs and blankets in hand to hear from the Republic police chief as other candidates for state and local office also campaigned.

Matt Marshall, a Republican running for 2nd Legislative District Rep. J.T. Wilcox’s seat, also spoke at the event.

During his talk, Culp criticized Gov. Jay Inslee, along with Seattle, for what he perceives as poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Culp, who announced his campaign had raised more than $1 million, also touched on topics such as fish ecology, constitutional rights, education and the recently-passed comprehensive sex education bill, taxes and $30 car tabs.

Inslee, who is seeking a third term as the state’s executive, faces around three dozen challengers, including Culp.

The two candidates with the most votes in the primary election, which takes place Aug. 4, will move on to the general election in November.

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