Washington State Governor’s Race Brings Political Tension

Bella Blankenship Miller, Reporter

Sophomores Chloe Gibson and Natalie Lahr couldn’t be farther apart on the political spectrum, as seen in their opposing viewpoints on the 2020 Washington state election.

As election day nears, many US citizens are torn by their different political views, and often find themselves experiencing social tension between themselves and people in the opposing political party. This is not only occurring in regards to the presidential election, but also in elections for state governors, which is definitely true in Washington state.

“I prefer Inslee over Culp by far, for a multitude of reasons,” said Natalie Lahr, a sophomore at Sedro-Woolley High School.

“Jay Inslee has taken the best steps possible with the resources at hand to attempt to control the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas Culp has stated that he would ‘leave it up to the public’ about whether they chose to follow social distancing guidelines.”

Many republican Washingtonians, including Loren Culp, don’t agree with the mandatory face mask order that Inslee implemented in June, while most democratically aligned  citizens believe that the mandate was a necessary step for Inslee to take. This is a topic that set republicans and democrats apart in regards to the 2020 Washington State Governor election.

“I prefer Republican Loren Culp,” said Chloe Gibson, a sophomore at Sedro-Woolley High School. “I don’t like that he’s [Inslee] acting like he’s the leader of someone’s business and that he is mandating and requiring that we wear masks.”

Another problem in the U.S, and even in the world in general,  is climate change and environmental issues as a whole. Some politicians believe that this issue should be prioritized, while others don’t.

“Gov. Inslee has also been highly outspoken about our climate crisis, saying he believes scientists and stating that it is one of ‘The most pressing issues we face.’ This shows both scientific competence and willingness to listen to experts to guide citizens through hardships,” said Lahr. “Mr. Culp, on the other hand, has refused to comment on his stance regarding the issue, though in my opinion choosing to ‘not have or state’  your stance on a topic is actually a very clear stance in itself.”

While Lahr emphasizes Culp’s absence of statements on Climate change, Gibson’s focus on the election is more centered around letting the citizens of Washington choose for themselves what COVID precautions to follow.

“Some important qualities I think a governor should have is letting the people decide for themselves what’s good for them and their business,” said Gibson. “Culp would be a better governor than Inslee because he cares about our economy and businesses, and he wants us to get back to school and open everything up, but Inslee does not.”

An additional controversial topic within American politics is the second amendment, the right to bear arms. With school shootings being a major issue in the United States, gun control reform policies have been proposed numerous times as a way of trying to lower school shooting rates, which can be a sensitive subject for gun-owning Americans.

“Mr Culp refused to implement a gun control reform that was approved by a majority over 60% of Washington voters, showing not only his disregard for the safety and security of citizens in Washington, but also that he is more than willing to oppose the wishes of the majority of Washington voters, which, as someone who is meant to represent wants and needs of citizens within the state, is unacceptable,” said Lahr.

Although Washington citizens under the age of 18 were not eligible to vote in the elections, many of them have still voiced strong political opinions for numerous months, and view election day with the same amount of importance as citizens who were eligible to vote.

“On a scale of one to ten, this extreme importance of this election cannot even be measured. Even if your personal rights and liberties are not at stake, this election should be viewed with the utmost importance for every Washington citizen. “ said Lahr.