Rick Larsen

For the Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota, see Richard F. Larsen.
Rick Larsen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2001
Preceded by Jack Metcalf
Personal details
Born (1965-06-15) June 15, 1965
Arlington, Washington, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tiia Larsen
Children Robert Larsen, Per Larsen
Residence Lake Stevens, Washington
Alma mater Pacific Lutheran University (BA)
University of Minnesota (MPA)
Occupation Public affairs director
Religion Methodist

Richard Ray "Rick" 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 six subsequent elections, most recently in 2014.

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. He also worked for the city of Everett, Washington as director of economic development for the city's port.

Before being elected to the House, Larsen gained political experience when he served as a Snohomish County Councilman and as chair of the Snohomish County Council.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus Participation

Staff Twitter scandal

On December 8, 2011, three staff members of Larsen were fired by Larsen after they were tweeting insults about Larsen and bragging about drinking on the job in Larsen's Washington D.C. office. Larsen's office fired the offending staffers within hours.[2]

Political positions

In 2006, CQPolitics described him:

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.

Given the importance of defense- and aviation-oriented jobs in the 2nd District, Larsen’s seats on the Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are politically advantageous.[3]

Rick Larsen has repeatedly cosponsored legislation that would create the Wild Sky Wilderness area in his home district[4] and is a member of the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus. Larsen has authored a law that regulates the international marriage brokering industry, by protecting "mail order brides" from abuse and clients from being monetarily ripped off.[5] Among his other priorities are fighting for better access to health care for veterans and the poor, increasing support for government programs that combat homelessness, increasing highway funding, and finding solutions to the growing methamphetamine problem in the district. Larsen also meets regularly with the community-at-large in various events or forums and is able to help provide information if needed.


One of Rick Larsen’s major priorities is transportation issues. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he has voted yes on every transportation bill since being reelected in 2008.[6] He believes that “sound investments in transportation keep our economy moving,” and improve conditions in other areas.[6] Representative Larsen has gotten over $52 million in the form of transportation projects for the SAFETEA-LU Bill to improve highways, increase funding for ferry systems, and expedite the flow of traffic and goods through border crossings.[7]


Since being reelected in 2008, Representative Larsen has voted yes on every labor bill, ranging from the “S-Miner Act” to the “Extending Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits and Providing Business and Homebuyer Tax Credits” bill.[6] Rick Larsen has shown strong 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.[8] He works to support the local Washington economy by investing in small to medium-sized businesses to help them succeed in the global economy.[6]


Pro-choice interest groups have consistently supported Rick Larsen. Planned Parenthood, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all highly rated his position on abortion.[9] In addition, he has voted against several bills that would restrict abortion rights.[10]

Healthcare reform

Larsen has supported the House Democratic proposal for publicly funded health care.[11] He voted for the reform bill in November 2009.[12]

Iraq War

Although Larsen initially voted against a bill authorizing military force in Iraq in October 2002, he has since voted yes on nearly every bill put forth in the House concerning the Iraq and Afghanistan.[13] Larsen supports President Obama's proposed exit strategy which promises to remove combat troops by summer of 2010.[14]

Political campaigns


Larsen defeated Republican candidate 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.[15] His campaign spent $1,155,691.[15] The companies that contributed the most money were Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp., American Dental Assn., McBee Strategic Consulting, and Puget Energy.[15] The labor, finance/insurance/real estate, transportation, misc. business, and health sectors were the largest contributing sectors.[15] The major industry donations came from health professionals, transportation unions, building trade unions, retired, and sea transport.[15]


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

Larson was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on October 13, 2010.[16]


United States House of Representatives elections, 2012#District 2

In 2012, Larsen won reelection by a comfortable margin, with 61% of the vote as compared to Republican Dan Matthews' 39%.[17]

Electoral history

Washington's 2nd congressional district: Results 19922014[18][19][20]
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%


  1. "Heck and Kilmer Announce Launch of Congressional Puget Sound Recovery Caucus". Congressman Derek Kilmer. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  2. Dinan, Stephen. Hill staffers tweet of partying, 'idiot boss', Washington Times, December 8, 2011.
  3. "Politics Home Page: Roll Call". cqpolitics.com. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  4. "Wild Sky wilderness bill back in Congress". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  5. House bio
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Project Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  7. "Project Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  8. "Project Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  9. "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  10. "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  11. "Healthcare - Rick Larsen, Representing Washington State's 2nd Congressional District". House.gov. 2010-03-23. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  12. "Project Vote Smart - Representative Larsen on HR 3962 - Health Care and Insurance Law Amendments". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  13. "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  14. "Iraq - Rick Larsen, Representing Washington State's 2nd Congressional District". House.gov. 2001-09-11. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 "Project Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  16. PI.com: Larsen deserves re-election, editorial board, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 13, 2010
  17. Reed, Sam. "2nd Congression District election". 2012 election results. WA STATE SEC OF STATE.
  18. "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  19. "Washington State General Election Results". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  20. "Washington State General Election Results". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jack Metcalf
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
James Langevin
D-Rhode Island
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Betty McCollum
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