BY MAZEY SERVIN-OBERT
Oct. 8, 2020 — Washington students and political organization leaders created chatter about Washington’s gubernatorial debate, which took place Oct. 7 between Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican candidate Loren Culp. Topics touched on at the debate were Boeing, systemic racism, CHOP, protests and the heated topic of COVID-19.
Also, the importance of viewing Washington’s gubernatorial debate was in question.
While the gubernatorial debate wasn’t as big a topic as the vice presidential debate that preceded it, students had some thoughts about how the debate went and the topics discussed. Kaleigh Carroll, a third-year Western student, knew the debate wouldn’t sway her decision to vote for Inslee.
“I was content with the information I heard because it reaffirmed my beliefs about both candidates. While Inslee isn’t the perfect governor, he has managed to institute relatively effective COVID-19 restrictions,” Carroll said. “Not to mention, he believes in climate change. Culp’s denial of climate change and inability to recognize the threat of COVID was concerning and a little frustrating.”
Carroll also added that out of all the debates such as presidential and vice presidential this was the most civil.
While some voters contacted didn’t watch the full debate between Inslee and Culp, some didn’t choose to view the debate at all.
Andrew Reding, chairman of Whatcom Democrats, didn’t view the gubernatorial debate because he believes the contest is over.
“Culp is 20 points behind Inslee in opinion polls. His chances are near zero. Waste of time,” Reding said in an email.
The vice presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence had more importance for Reding.
“The national race is the one that will determine nothing less than our future as a country,” he said in an email. “Given the age of the two presidential candidates (74 & 78), there is a high probability that the next vice president will become president sometime in the next four years!”
The focus on the vice presidential debate didn’t take away from people checking in on the highlights. Some people had comments on how Inslee would group together Culp and Trump, suggested Jim McKinney, Whatcom County coordinator of the Trump Campaign.
“I’ve watched various clips and I’ve watched about 20 minutes of the opening debate, I felt that both of them were fairly well managed and there weren’t too many issues. I think the mistake on the governor’s part was trying to equate Culp supporters to Trump supporters,” McKinney said in a phone interview.
McKinney was not alone in this observation. Some people did mention that they noticed Inslee associated Culp and Trump supporters together.
McKinney said that grouping Culp with Trump is probably alienating a lot of Washington state voters.
Although the Washington’s gubernatorial debate wasn’t entirely a hot topic for some students and political organization leaders, they did have opinions and thoughts over what happened and what was said.