Rick Larsen
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Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen
Rick Larsen 116th Congress official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd district

January 3, 2001
Jack Metcalf
Personal details
Richard Ray Larsen

(1965-06-15) June 15, 1965 (age 55)
Arlington, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Tiia Karlen
(m. 1994)
EducationPacific Lutheran University (BA)
University of Minnesota (MPA)
WebsiteHouse website

Richard Ray Larsen (born June 15, 1965) is the United States Representative for Washington's 2nd congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and was re-elected in each of the eight subsequent elections, most recently in 2018.

Larsen is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Early life, education and career

Larsen addressing Rotary club

Born in Arlington, Washington, he attended Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Minnesota, earning a master's degree in public affairs. He formerly worked as director of public affairs for the Washington State Dental Association and as a lobbyist for the dental profession.[1]

U.S. House of Representatives

Larsen's freshman portrait

Committee assignments

Caucus participation

Political positions

In 2006, CQPolitics described him:

Larsen, a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition[8] in the House, has carved an image as a moderate that appeals to crucial swing voters in the politically competitive coastal district in the northwestern corner of Washington State. He still maintains support from centers surrounding the port cities of Everett and Bellingham.

A year prior in 2005, The American Prospect characterized Washington's 2nd congressional district as "traditionally Democratic" and contrasted that with Larsen's voting record at the time[9]:

Larsen won this traditionally Democratic district last year almost 2 to 1. Yet Larsen's voting record doesn't reflect these numbers: He voted in favor of the bankruptcy bill crafted by the credit-card industry, the Bush administration's estate-tax repeal, and the tort "reform" bill supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce limiting the right to sue.

Larsen sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.[10] Consequently, Larsen has fundraised $1.26 million from political action committees affiliated with the transportation industry and $560,000 from political action committees affiliated with the defense industry[11].


Planned Parenthood, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all highly rated his position on abortion.[12] In addition, he has voted against several bills that would restrict abortion rights.[13]


Rick Larsen voted for the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act[14] otherwise known as "cap and trade". Rick Larsen has cosponsored legislation that would create the Wild Sky Wilderness area in his home district[15] and is a member of the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.

On February 8 2019, Larsen came out in opposition to the Green New Deal saying[16]:

I am not ready to support the Green New Deal resolution.
It is difficult to support the resolution right now when one of the lead sponsors says one of the intentions is to make air travel unnecessary.

In 2020, Fuse Washington in its Progressive Voters Guide noted that Larsen does not support the Green New Deal and accepted political contributions from corporations including Exxon Mobil "as recently as last year"[17][18].

Healthcare reform

Larsen has supported the House Democratic proposal for the Affordable Care Act.[19] He voted for the reform bill in November 2009.[20] Rick Larsen does not support single-payer health insurance. He has been quoted on the subject saying: "no, he thought it was more appropriate to stick with defending Obamacare, not to change in the middle of the controversy." [21]

Larsen does not support Medicare for All and instead has stated he supports the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act[22] as a preferable alternative[23]. This proposal adds a public option to the Affordable Care Act using the same market-based exchanges while lowering premiums by only five to seven percent[24].


In 2007, Rick Larsen opposed impeaching President George W. Bush saying, "I believe the American people elected a Democratic majority to make positive changes in their lives. If we took up impeachment, we would do nothing else for the next 2 years. I don't think that's what we were elected to do"[25]. However, Larsen came out in support of impeaching President Donald J. Trump on July 18, 2019[26].

Iraq War

Although Larsen initially voted against a bill authorizing military force in Iraq in October 2002, Larsen also voted against an amendment that sought to have the United States work through the United Nations to resolve tensions instead of invading Iraq[27]. However later in 2006, Larsen voted against requiring Congressional authorization for use of force in Iran[28], and again in 2011 for use of force in Libya[29].

Since 2002, Larsen has voted yes on nearly every bill put forth in the House concerning the Iraq and Afghanistan[30]. In 2006, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described Larsen as a "strong advocate for providing money to support the [Iraq War]"[31].

Also in 2006, Larsen voted to endorse the War in Iraq and against a mandated withdrawal plan[32]. In 2008, Larsen said that troops will be in Iraq "well into the next administration" and likely remain "for another 10 years"[33]. Larsen supported President Obama's proposed exit strategy which promises to remove combat troops by summer of 2010.[34]


Representative Larsen has voted yes on the "S-Miner Act" and "Extending Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits and Providing Business and Homebuyer Tax Credits" bill.[35] Rick Larsen has shown support for the interests of the Utility Workers Union of America, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, and AFL - CIO.[36] He claims that he works to support the local Washington economy by investing in small to medium-sized businesses to help them succeed in the global economy.[35]

In January 2014, Larsen faced criticism from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for supporting Boeing's proposal to replace pensions with a 401(k)-style retirement plan[37].


As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he has voted yes on every transportation bill since being re-elected in 2008.[35] He believes that "sound investments in transportation keep our economy moving," and improve conditions in other areas.[35] Representative Larsen was one of 79 cosponsors for the SAFETEA-LU Bill to improve highways, increase funding for ferry systems, and expedite the flow of traffic and goods through border crossings.[1]

Political campaigns


Larsen defeated Republican Doug Roulstone, a retired Navy officer who was recruited by GOP strategists. Larsen received 65% of the vote to Roulstone's 34%.


Larsen was challenged in the Democratic primary during his 2008 reelection campaign by perennial candidate Glen Johnson. His Republican opponent for the House race was recently retired Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart.

For the 2008 election cycle, Rick Larsen's campaign's total income was $1,336,438.[38] His campaign spent $1,155,691.[38] The companies that contributed the most money were Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp., American Dental Assn., McBee Strategic Consulting, and Puget Energy.[38] The labor, finance/insurance/real estate, transportation, misc. business, and health sectors were the largest contributing sectors.[38] The major industry donations came from health professionals, transportation unions, building trade unions, retired, and sea transport.[38]


Larsen narrowly defeated Republican nominee John Koster to win a sixth term.

Larson was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on October 13, 2010.[39]


In 2012, Larsen won reelection by a comfortable margin, with 61% of the vote as compared to Republican Dan Matthews' 39%.[40]


Larsen was challenged by Republican Marc Hennemann. Hennemann decided to challenge Larsen after Marc received an answer he did not like to a question at a town hall meeting in Coupeville, WA.[41] In the general election, Larsen gathered 64% of the vote compared to Hennemann's 36%.[42]

Electoral history

Washington's 2nd congressional district: Results 1992-2018[43][44][45]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2000 Rick Larsen 146,617 50% John Koster 134,660 46% Stuart Andrews Libertarian 7,672 3% Glen S. Johnson Natural Law 4,231 1%
2002 Rick Larsen 101,219 50% Norma Smith 92,528 46% Bruce Guthrie Libertarian 4,326 2% Bernard P. Haggerty Green 4,077 2%
2004 Rick Larsen 202,383 64% 106,333 34% Bruce Guthrie Libertarian 7,966 2%
2006 157,064 64% 87,730 36%
2008 217,416 62% 131,051 38%
2010 Rick Larsen 155,241 51% John Koster 148,722 49%
2012 Rick Larsen 184,826 61% Dan Matthews 117,465 39%
2014 Rick Larsen 67,812 62% B.J. Guillot 41,889 38%
2016 Rick Larsen 208,314 64% Marc Hennemann 117,094 36%
2018 Rick Larsen 135,831 72.4% Brian Luke Libertarian 51,709 27.6%


  1. ^ "Washington State Public Disclosure Commission Lobbyist Identification Form". January 7, 1997.
  2. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Heck and Kilmer Announce Launch of Congressional Puget Sound Recovery Caucus". Congressman Derek Kilmer. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Rick Larsen. "Committees and Caucuses". Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "The Defectors". The American Prospect. September 18, 2005.
  10. ^ "Politics Home Page: Roll Call". cqpolitics.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ "Rep. Rick Larsen - Washington District 02, Top Industries 1999 - 2020".
  12. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. May 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  13. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. July 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 477". June 26, 2009.
  15. ^ "Wild Sky wilderness bill back in Congress". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ https://twitter.com/RepRickLarsen/status/1093950266565672960. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00345546&contributor_name=C00095406. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Washington Progressive Voters Guide". Fuse Washington. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "Healthcare - Rick Larsen, Representing Washington State's 2nd Congressional District". House.gov. March 23, 2010. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  20. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Larsen on HR 3962 - Health Care and Insurance Law Amendments". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ "Rick Larsen Town Hall". San Juan Island Update. March 27, 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "H.R.1419: Public Option Deficit".
  23. ^ "Letter from Rep. Rick Larsen's office regarding Medicare for All". November 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "Schakowsky Introduces the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act". January 9, 2015.
  25. ^ "One Congressman's take on impeachment". RobLewis. January 30, 2007. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Rep. Larsen Statement". Twitter.com. July 18, 2019
  27. ^ "Lee of California Substitute Amendment". October 10, 2002.
  28. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 300". June 20, 2006.
  29. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 411". June 3, 2011.
  30. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010.
  31. ^ "Rick Larsen a rare voice of moderation in Congress". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. July 17, 2006. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "PeacePAC Voting Record, 2005-2006, 107th Congress" (PDF).
  33. ^ "Larsen: Troops will be in Iraq 'well into next the administration'". South Whidbey Record. January 30, 2008.
  34. ^ "Iraq - Rick Larsen, Representing Washington State's 2nd Congressional District". House.gov. September 11, 2001. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  35. ^ a b c d "Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 2015.
  36. ^ "Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 2015.
  37. ^ "Rep. Larsen loses backing of Machinists over Boeing offer". January 13, 2014.
  38. ^ a b c d e "Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 2015.
  39. ^ PI.com: Larsen deserves re-election, editorial board, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 13, 2010
  40. ^ Reed, Sam. "2nd Congression District election". 2012 election results. WA STATE SEC OF STATE.
  41. ^ "He didn't like congressman's reply to his question, so now he's running against him". miamiherald. Retrieved 2018.
  42. ^ "Washington's 2nd Congressional District election, 2016 - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 2018.
  43. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  44. ^ "Washington State General Election Results". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2009.
  45. ^ "Washington State General Election Results". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2010.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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