|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Washington's 2nd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Jack Metcalf|
|Member of the Snohomish County Council|
from the 1st district
January 1, 1998 – January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||John Garner|
|Succeeded by||Mike Ashley|
Richard Ray Larsen
June 15, 1965
Arlington, Washington, U.S.
|Education||Pacific Lutheran University (BA)|
University of Minnesota (MPA)
Richard Ray Larsen (born June 15, 1965) is an American politician and lobbyist serving as 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 reelected in each of the ten subsequent elections, most recently in 2020.
Larsen is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Born in Arlington, Washington, Larsen 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.
In 2006, CQPolitics wrote:
Larsen, a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition 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.
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:
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. Consequently, he 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.
Planned Parenthood, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all highly rated Larsen's position on abortion. He has voted against several bills that would restrict abortion rights. In 2022, Larsen reaffirmed his support for abortion rights and their protections under Roe v. Wade, saying he would "continue to stand with women and advocates in Washington state and across the country to ensure a woman’s right to access safe reproductive health care."
Larsen voted for the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act known as "cap and trade". He has cosponsored legislation that would create the Wild Sky Wilderness area in his home district 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:
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".
Larsen has supported the House Democratic proposal for the Affordable Care Act. He voted for the reform bill in November 2009. Larsen does not support single-payer health insurance. He has said he "thought it was more appropriate to stick with defending Obamacare, not to change in the middle of the controversy".
Larsen does not support Medicare for All and has said he supports the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act as an alternative. 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.
In 2007, 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". Larsen supported impeaching President Donald J. Trump on July 18, 2019.
Although Larsen initially voted against a bill authorizing military force in Iraq in October 2002, he also voted against an amendment that sought to have the United States work through the United Nations to resolve tensions instead of invading Iraq. In 2006, Larsen voted against requiring Congressional authorization for use of force in Iran, and in 2011 he voted for use of force in Libya.
Since 2002, Larsen has voted for nearly every bill put forth in the House concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described Larsen as a "strong advocate for providing money to support the [Iraq War]".
In 2006, Larsen voted to endorse the War in Iraq and against a mandated withdrawal plan. In 2008, he said that troops would be in Iraq "well into the next administration" and likely remain "for another 10 years". Larsen supported President Obama's proposed exit strategy, which promised to remove combat troops by summer of 2010.
Larsen voted for the S-Miner Act and Extending Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits and Providing Business and Homebuyer Tax Credits bill. He showed 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. He claims to support Washington State's economy by investing in small- to medium-size businesses to help them succeed in the global economy.
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.
As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Larsen has voted for every transportation bill since being reelected in 2008. He believes that "sound investments in transportation keep our economy moving" and improve conditions in other areas. Larsen was one of 79 cosponsors of the SAFETEA-LU bill to improve highways, increase funding for ferry systems, and expedite the flow of traffic and goods through border crossings.
Larsen defeated Republican Doug Roulstone, a retired Navy officer who was recruited by GOP strategists, with 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, Larsen's campaign's total income was $1,336,438. His campaign spent $1,155,691. The companies that contributed the most money were Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp., American Dental Assn., McBee Strategic Consulting, and Puget Energy. The labor, finance/insurance/real estate, transportation, misc. business, and health sectors were the largest contributing sectors. The major industry donations came from health professionals, transportation unions, building trade unions, retired, and sea transport.
Larsen narrowly defeated Republican nominee John Koster to win a sixth term.
Larsen was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on October 13, 2010.
In 2012, Larsen won reelection with 61% of the vote to Republican nominee Dan Matthews's 39%.
Larsen was challenged by Republican Marc Hennemann. Hennemann decided to challenge Larsen after receiving an answer he disliked to a question at a town hall meeting in Coupeville. Larsen defeated Hennemann, 64% to 36%.
|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%||Suzanne Sinclair||106,333||34%||Bruce Guthrie||Libertarian||7,966||2%|
|2006||Rick Larsen||157,064||64%||Doug Roulstone||87,730||36%|
|2008||Rick Larsen||217,416||62%||Rick Bart||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%||Brian Luke||Libertarian||51,709||28%|
|2020||Rick Larsen||249,944||63%||Timothy S. Hazelo||148,384||37%|
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