Using money from his unsuccessful campaign for governor, Loren Culp paid out $15,287.50 to himself for mileage reimbursement, more than any other candidate for office in the state this year, according to data from the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).
The PDC requires campaigns calculate mileage reimbursement based on a federal 57.5 cents per mile rate, meaning Culp reimbursed himself for 26,586 miles, or about 50 trips from the northeast tip of the state to the southwest tip of the state.
Culp also reimbursed himself for “loss wages” with a total of $33,136 of campaign funding. The chunk represents about half of his annual salary, according to reporting by Crosscut. It was previously reported that Culp was using accrued vacation time and unpaid leave in order to make time for campaigning.
The only candidate coming close to Culp’s mileage reimbursement is district 9 Republican Rep. Joe Schmick, who reimbursed himself nearly $9,000, although that number included meals, mileage, and in some instances parking and lodging, according to his filings with the PDC.
Several republican candidates that campaigned alongside Culp at his “protest” rallies this year in Southwest Washington didn’t use any campaign money to reimburse their mileage, including incoming representatives Peter Abbarno and Joel McEntire, as well as unsuccessful attorney general candidate Matt Larkin, and unsuccessful Lt. Gov. candidate Joshua Freed. Outgoing district 19 Rep. Brian Blake reimbursed himself around $5,000, and Rep. Jim Walsh spent almost $8,000. None reimbursed themselves for lost wages.
Culp’s campaign, which was issued a warning by the PDC earlier this year for using funds to buy 732 copies of his book, “American Cop,” is also now suing the secretary of state over his defeat, perpetuating unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud and refusing to concede after losing by a margin of 13 percent and more than 500,000 votes.