The election in the traditionally Republican district was called because of the resignation of former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder.
Kulp, the owner of a roofing and solar energy company, eclipsed even Suder's last victory by getting 67 percent of the vote.
“Business people by their nature are problem solvers,” says Kulp. “They have to do the kinds of things that really make a business successful, and I think people respect that, and it showed at the polls.”
Kulp pledged to be an independent voice for the district.
“The Republican Party most often reflects my philosophies and my values, but not always, so certainly I will maintain a degree of independence,” says Kulp.
Kulp faced two opponents, including Democrat Ken Slezak, who came in second with 24 percent of the vote. Coming in third with 9 percent was Tim Swiggum, an Independent who had run twice before as a Democrat.
“I hope that he keeps an open mind when it comes to what the Republican Party wants to do and doesn't just become a soldier for the party,” says Swiggum. “I believe him when he says that's not his intentions.”
Swiggum is the director of the Community Development Authority for the city of Owen. He says he will probably not run again for the Assembly.
Slezak did not return our phone calls in time for this story.