Larsen, Koster will face off in general election

SNOHOMISH COUNTY – It appears that voters will see a rematch in Congressional District 2 this November.

Initial results on Tuesday, Aug. 17, show that incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and challenger John Koster – both from Arlington – hold the top two spots in the Washington state primary election.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, Larsen, a Democrat, had garnered about 49,000 votes, while the Republican Koster had notched about 47,000.

The top two candidates from each race on the Aug. 17 ballot go on to the Nov. 3 general election.

While Larsen led Tuesday night by about 2,000 votes, Koster held a slight lead in Snohomish County, where he serves as a County Council member.

"We've been polling all along, and they're showing that we're going to do well in Snohomish County," Koster said Tuesday night in a telephone interview from his campaign headquarters in Arlington. "People know who I am and what I stand for."

Larsen said that the primary election results were about what he expected.

"My campaign is in a strong position heading into the general election," Larsen said in a telephone interview. "The Democratic vote in the primary is very strong, but my focus has always been on November. I didn't spend a dime on radio, newspaper or mail ads in the primary election."

For Larsen and Koster, it will be a rematch of the 2000 District 2 general election, in which Larsen defeated Koster.

Both candidates said that a lot has changed since they last faced each other.

Larsen said that the dynamics of the economy have been the biggest different.

"I think there will be a clear choice," he said. "It would defy common sense to go back to the politics that got us in this (economic situation) in the first place. I'm going to be representing moving forward."

Koster said that Larsen's voting record during the past 10 years are contrary to the best interests of the 2nd Congressional District, pointing out Larsen's support of the health care bill, among other issues.

"We're also going to talk about what needs to be done to stimulate job growth and commerce," Koster said. "It's going to be done in the private sector, not by the government."

District 2 is made up of all of Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, San Juan and Island counties and part of King County.

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