Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp’s campaign took aim Wednesday at House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, telling him to “look at the facts and fight for freedom, not government handouts” and to “grow a pair” in a morning social media post.
Culp’s campaign made the comments on Twitter, retweeting a post by Wilcox, a 2nd Legislative District lawmaker who was just reelected to his post in a landslide.
Culp, who hasn’t conceded in his race against incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee, is currently behind by about 545,000 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
Wilcox said in his original post that he and Republican colleagues wanted to help provide financial relief following sweeping COVID-19 restrictions ordered Sunday by Inslee.
The friction between the two Republicans appeared to begin on Monday after Wilcox — according to allegations from Culp’s campaign manager Christopher Gergen — told a group of Republicans during a caucus meeting that he thought Culp’s strategy of holding rallies during the pandemic was “lowbrow.”
Reached by phone on Friday, Wilcox rejected Gergen’s characterization of the meeting, saying that he didn’t use the term lowbrow and didn’t make the assessment.
“I’m a lifelong farmer. I have no use making style judgements like that,” Wilcox said.
He also told the Nisqually Valley News that he voted for Culp.
Gergen, who owns a political consulting firm, on Monday took to Culp’s Facebook page in a live video saying he planned to support a candidate to unseat Wilcox in the next campaign cycle.
“I have no tolerance for Republicans who want to kick my candidate,” Gergen said.
Despite trailing Democratic incumbent Inslee by more than half a million votes earlier in the general election, Culp’s camp has yet to concede the race and have insinuated the election was rigged against them with voter fraud.
Gergen also vowed to file lawsuits over their allegations of fraud.
Wilcox isn’t the only Washington Republican to draw ire from Culp and his campaign, with Secretary of State Kim Wyman also facing criticism from the former police chief of Republic.
Culp recorded another video Thursday and said “there’s some very nefarious things going in this country, and in this state.”
Culp said the “court of public opinion, the media” doesn’t decide elections, and spoke vaguely of voting machines sending votes out of the country and mentioned George Soros.
“Why is our own secretary of state pushing back saying that our elections have integrity when she knows full well there is no chain of custody for a ballot, at all?” Culp asked.
Culp said the state cannot allow cheating, though he didn’t outline any evidence.
“This is third world country crap,” he said. “This is how socialism takes over in all of those countries.”