Republican Loren Culp Lost the Washington Governor’s Race by 545,000 Votes, and Now He’s Suing


Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp, who lost the Nov. 3 election by 545,000 votes, is suing Secretary of State Kim Wyman, asking for an audit of ballots and voting machines in five counties.

Culp filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court on Thursday, more than a week after election results were certified Dec. 2, confirming Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s victory.

Washington counties regularly perform tests of vote-tabulation machines. Culp’s lawsuit seeks new tests of those machines and audits of paper ballots in King, Clark, Pierce, Kitsap and Skagit Counties — all of which were won by Inslee.

The lawsuit alleges “intolerable voting anomalies,” including claims that

Wyman, a Republican, failed to adequately update voter files as required by law.

As a result, Culp claims, many thousands of ballots were sent to voters who had moved out of state, or died, or who were otherwise ineligible. The lawsuit alleges thousands of votes were cast in the names of dead people.

The lawsuit does not provide substantive evidence to back those allegations, which have been rejected as false by Wyman and county elections officials.

The lawsuit complaint also improbably suggests a vote-flipping conspiracy because President Donald Trump was leading Joe Biden in Washington state early on election night, before additional vote results were reported by more populous counties.

Some of the Culp claims echo those made by Trump allies in attempting to overturn the results in several swing states. Courts have resoundingly dismissed the allegations, often in blistering rulings.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — and supported by more than 100 congressional Republicans, including Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse of Washington — seeking to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania and other swing states won by Biden.

Stephen Pidgeon, the Everett attorney who filed the complaint on Culp’s behalf, is a far-right conspiracy theorist who previously spread discredited “birther” conspiracies about President Barack Obama and claimed Obama was a secret Muslim who wanted to impose an Islamic caliphate in the United States.

Wyman spokesperson Kylee Zabel said in an email that the Secretary of State’s office has yet to be served with the lawsuit “and we will not comment on potential active litigation.”