#4ThePeople: You asked: Washington governor candidates’ COVID-19 recovery plans

SPOKANE, Wash.– This election, 4 News Now is 4 The People—we’re answering the questions you want to know about the candidates and issues.

Viewers sent us questions to figure out what Washington’s gubernatorial candidates have planned for the next phase of COVID-19 response, if they win the race.

4 News Now’s Nia Wong reached out to Republic Police Chief Loren Culp, who has never held an elected office; and Maher Kawash took on Inslee’s side as the Governor tries to win a third term at the head of the state. Both men have been very open on where they stand when it comes to COVID.

Lisa Woodard is ready to make her vote in the race for governor, but she wants a specific plan from the candidate who wins.

“I would like to ask of each candidate, how he would best propose to balance actions supporting personal and economic health for citizens of Washington state as we move through and beyond the pandemic?” Woodard asked.

We sent that question directly to the Inslee campaign, and they didn’t give a specific answer. They did provide a statement which stated in part: “Governor Inslee has followed health experts and science to save lives and responsibly reopen our economy.”

Woodard is a pharmacist and agrees with Inslee’s approach to save lives, which has involved a mask mandate. That’s something the governor will rely on if COVID cases get out of hand this fall and winter.

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“We would hope that Washingtonians would respond to that by increasing mask usage and social distancing,” Inslee said.

Many are worried about the impact those COVID restriction have already made on the economy.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee lifts COVID-19 restrictions statewide; how local business owners are responding

Inslee’s campaign responded to that and said the governor’s work to expand healthcare, invest in education, and protect working families will help Washington rebuild stronger than ever.

We found details about Inslee’s other economic plans for Washington on his campaign site. He plans on using data and analytics to figure out how stimulus and recovery dollars are used for under-served communities.

Inslee also believes jobs should be created through small business development; something not really happening in Washington during this pandemic.

Another viewer discussed her question and concerns for the candidates, which revolved around making life easier on parents like her.

“Reopening up businesses, reopening schools, especially gyms and gyms with childcare,” Ashley Esposito said. “Especially for us moms, that’s a big, big concern of mine and pretty much all the moms I know in my neighborhood.”

As of a mother of three, she just wants options.

“Pretty much if they were just to reopen everything normally, they would definitely get my vote,” Esposito said.

We sent multiple requests to Culp’s campaign team about this issue, and we didn’t get a single reply. Just last week at a rally in Liberty Lake, he told 4 News Now, he believes COVID is killing people. During that rally and interview with us, he was not wearing a mask and feels others shouldn’t be forced to wear them.

RELATED: Hundreds defy COVID-19 restrictions to turn out for Loren Culp rally in Liberty Lake

“I’ll leave it up to them to decide what to do,” Culp said. “That’s how this state should be governed.”

Despite scientists urging the use of masks, Culp told us his plans if election.

“We are going to lift any restrictions that Jay Inslee has left on its citizens and businesses of this state,” Culp said.