Snohomish County Council member challenging Larsen for Congress
January 21, 2010 · Updated 3:19 PM
— This version corrects the date of the Nov. 2 general election.
Snohomish County Councilman John Koster has announced he is running for Congress against Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett. His campaign Web site is www.KosterCountry.com..
The election is Nov. 2. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives serve two-year terms.
The two last faced each other in 2000, when both sought to succeed the retiring Jack Metcalf. Larsen led Koster in San Juan County 2,098 to 1,098, or 56.25 percent to 36.47 percent.
Koster, a Republican, served three terms in the state House of Representatives before running for Congress. In 2001, he was elected to his first of three terms on the Snohomish County Council — where Larsen served before being elected to Congress.
In the state House, Koster served on the following committees: Agriculture and Ecology; Capital Budget; Criminal Justice and Corrections; and Transportation.
On the County Council, Koster served as chairman of the Planning and Community Development Committee from 2002-05, and chairman of the Operations Committee from 2006-07. He served as council chairman in 2004 and vice chairman in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
He has served on committees for the National Association of County Officials, the Washington State Association of Counties, and the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Koster is a graduate of Arlington High School and Everett Community College. He is a third-generation dairyman. He and his wife, Vicki, have been married for 39 years. They have four children and nine grandchildren.
Larsen is from Koster's hometown of Arlington, earned degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Minnesota, and served two years on the Snohomish County Council before being elected to Congress. He is a member of the Armed Services Committee, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Budget Committee.
Larsen — www.house.gov/larsen — sponsored legislation creating the 106,577-acre Wild Sky Wilderness Area, and helped win funding for the transfer of Mitchell Hill to the San Juan Island National Historical Park.
It should be an interesting campaign.
Joel Connelly reported on SeattlePI.com today, "A former dairy farmer, Koster was an outspoken conservative and property rights advocate in the Washington Legislature. He is currently the lone Republican on the Snohomish County Council.
"Larsen has established a solid hold on the 2nd Congressional District, which stretches from Mukilteo to the Canadian border. But the 2nd is designed to be a swing district.
"The district elected Democratic congressmen from 1964 to 1994. A Republican, Jack Metcalf, won the seat in the 1994 GOP landslide. Metcalf held it, with fund raising visits from then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, until obeying a self-imposed limit of three terms and retiring in 2000.
"Koster ran ahead of Larsen in the 2000 primary, but the Democrat took the seat in November.
"Larsen has excelled at retail politics: During Congress' work periods, he can be found at such local hangouts as Neil's Clover Patch Cafe on Whidbey Island. Last summer, as colleagues faced hostile crowds, Larsen presided over a peaceful town hall meeting that drew 8,000 people to an Everett stadium.
"Larsen worked to win concessions for oil refiners in the energy and climate bill narrowly passed by the House last summer. He has worked to win improved staffing and security at the U.S.-Canada border."