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GOP candidates stump for change on campaign swing in San Juans
By Steve Wehrly/Journal reporter
Dan Matthews believes that his professional and personal profile mark him as “electable."
But he also knows that opponent Rick Larsen, having won six elections for the U.S. House, won't be easy to beat, especially in a "new" more Democrat- leaning district.
Interviewed during a campaign swing through Orcas and San Juan Island on the Saturday before the 4th of July, Matthews insisted, "I'm in the race to win because the incumbent hasn't done the job representing the people of the 2nd District."
He's aware that redistricting placed Republican parts of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties in the new 1st District, adding more Democratic precincts south of Everett and in north King County.
"I fit this district," Matthews said, pointing to his youth in the Shoreline area, his home and community involvement in Mulkiteo, his environmental stewardship concerns as a founding member of the Cousteau Society, and his service on a local school board as credentials that 2nd District voters can relate to.
Because of his 20-year military career, which included Air Force service in both Vietnam and the Middle East, Matthews, a retired lieutenant colonel, said, "I'll give strong support to our military bases and military personnel in Everett and Whidbey Island, and will especially make sure veterans get the help they need and deserve."
Later, at a Friday Harbor waterfront rally with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, Washington state's attorney general, and John Swapp, state Senate candidate, Matthews joined McKenna, Swapp and state Republican Chairman Kirby Wilbur in calling on Republicans and independents to "elect a Republican Congress, a Republican governor and a Republican legislature."
Referring perhaps to Republican John Koster's 51-49 percent loss to Larsen in 2010, Wilbur told the mostly-Republican audience, "Just don't wake up the day after the election wishing you'd done more to elect Republicans."