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Election: Larsen wins sixth term in U.S. House, 2nd District
Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, has won a sixth term representing the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the San Juan Islands.
Updated results Monday show Larsen ahead with 143,494, or 50.81 percent, to 138,010 or 49.19 percent for John Koster.
“The days since the election have been an exciting time for our local democratic process," Larsen said in an announcement released late Monday. "This election proves that every vote counts. And I want to thank every person who took the time to participate and cast a ballot in this race.
“I have always said that representing the 2nd District isn’t my job, it is my privilege. And I am humbled and thankful to have the privilege to continue to serve.
“I want to thank everyone for your words of encouragement and your prayers during the last six days. Tiia, Robert, Per and I very much appreciate the outpouring of grace people have shown.
“I want to thank the hundreds of volunteers, too numerous to mention, but without whom the campaign could not have done what it did. You know who you are and I know the job you did. Thank you.
“I want to thank my campaign staff for hanging in there, executing a plan that withstood the wave, and making that plan a success.
“Now is the time to move forward. The campaign is behind us and we need to move forward on governing in the best interests of the people of this area.
“The political landscape has changed and the new majority now has an equal responsibility to govern. One lesson of the Democratic party's loss is that Americans want bipartisanship. The American people want the parties to work together.
“I have a history of bipartisanship having worked to pass pipeline safety legislation in the minority and the Wild Sky wilderness bill while in the majority and signed into law by then-President George Bush. I look forward to finding similar opportunities next year.
“There is much upon which we need to move forward.
“I believe this campaign was about the economy in our area. The recent jobs report shows the actions we took over the last two years are beginning to take hold. Not only did October show job growth of 150,000 new jobs, previous months' jobs reports have been revised upward. We need to keep that momentum going.
“In the Pacific Northwest, we need economic solutions for us. My focus will continue to be on landing the Air Force tanker to create jobs here, not somewhere else; building clean energy jobs; supporting small and medium size manufacturers; and increasing access to credit for small businesses.
“In closing let me say again that serving in Congress is not my job, it is my privilege to serve given by the people to whom it belongs. I thank you for the privilege of serving two more years."
Koster, a Republican, is a Snohomish County Council member who served in the state House in the 1990s. He and Larsen, a former Snohomish County Council member, ran against each other for Congress in 2000. That year, Koster outpolled Larsen in the primary but lost in the general election. This year, Koster again outpolled Larsen in the primary; his rein-in-spending message apparently resonated with many district voters wary of a 9.6 percent unemployment rate and doubts that the Obama administration's investments in economic recovery are working.
Koster was endorsed by Republican heavyweights Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor; and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Larsen is popular in the San Juan Islands. He helped establish a Veterans Administration outpatient clinic for veterans in San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties; obtained funding for the transfer of Mitchell Hill to San Juan Island National Historical Park; and obtained funding for pedestrian and vehicle traffic improvements at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal.
On the national front, he worked for accountability on Wall Street and for consumer protections, and he supported troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s a member of key committees: Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Budget.
Koster spokesman Larry Stickney issued this statement early after the election:
"The American people spoke loud and clear on Tuesday evening, and they have soundly rejected the arrogant and reckless policies of the Washington, D.C. establishment. While the ballot count here continues to see-saw, we are confident that once the votes are all in, the people of northwest Washington will deliver the same message to Rick Larsen.
"While Wednesday's statewide vote counts oddly defied the national trend and provided an uptick for Democrat candidates, the slim margin in the Koster/Larsen race proves that Americans in all corners of the country are tired of the dangerous job-killing policies foisted on us by the now outgoing Pelosi Congress."