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Rick Larsen
Ranking Member of the House Transportation Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded bySam Graves
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2001
Preceded byJack Metcalf
Member of the Snohomish County Council
from the 1st district
In office
January 1, 1998 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byJohn Garner
Succeeded byMike Ashley
Personal details
Richard Ray Larsen

(1965-06-15) June 15, 1965 (age 58)
Arlington, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Tiia Karlén
(m. 1994)
EducationPacific Lutheran University (BA)
University of Minnesota (MPA)
WebsiteHouse website

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 since 2001. A member of the Democratic Party, Larsen is the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/2
  • Stories in Democracy: Congressman Rick Larsen
  • UVU: Entrepreneurship Lectures - Rick B Larsen


Early life, education and career

Larsen addressing a Rotary club meeting in Everett, Washington

Larsen was born and raised in Arlington, Washington, and graduated from Arlington High School. Throughout his childhood, he played youth soccer and was later a ball boy for the original Seattle Sounders.[2] 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.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives

Larsen's freshman portrait

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

In 2006, CQPolitics wrote:

Larsen, a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition[10] 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:[11]

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and formerly sat on the Armed Services Committee.[12] He has raised $1.26 million from political action committees affiliated with the transportation industry and $560,000 from political action committees affiliated with the defense industry.[13]

Larsen voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.[14]


Planned Parenthood, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all highly rated Larsen's position on abortion.[15] He has voted against several bills that would restrict abortion rights.[16] 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."[17]


Larsen voted for the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act[18] known as "cap and trade". He has cosponsored legislation that would create the Wild Sky Wilderness area in his home district[19] 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:[20]

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".[21][22]

Healthcare reform

Larsen has supported the House Democratic proposal for the Affordable Care Act.[23] He voted for the reform bill in November 2009.[24] 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".[25]

Larsen does not support Medicare for All and has said he supports the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act[26] as an alternative.[27] 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.[28]


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".[29] Larsen supported impeaching President Donald J. Trump on July 18, 2019.[30]

Iraq War

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.[31] In 2006, Larsen voted against requiring Congressional authorization for use of force in Iran,[32] and in 2011 he voted for use of force in Libya.[33]

Since 2002, Larsen has voted for nearly every bill put forth in the House concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[34] In 2006, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described Larsen as a "strong advocate for providing money to support the [Iraq War]".[35]

In 2006, Larsen voted to endorse the War in Iraq and against a mandated withdrawal plan.[36] In 2008, he said that troops would be in Iraq "well into the next administration" and likely remain "for another 10 years".[37] Larsen supported President Obama's proposed exit strategy, which promised to remove combat troops by summer of 2010.[38]


Larsen voted for the S-Miner Act and Extending Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits and Providing Business and Homebuyer Tax Credits bill.[39] 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.[40] He claims to support Washington State's economy by investing in small- to medium-size businesses to help them succeed in the global economy.[39]

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.[41]


As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Larsen has voted for every transportation bill since being reelected in 2008.[39] He believes that "sound investments in transportation keep our economy moving" and improve conditions in other areas.[39] 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.[42]

Political campaigns


Larsen defeated Republican Doug Roulstone, a retired Navy officer from Snohomish, 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.[43] His campaign spent $1,155,691.[43] The companies that contributed the most money were Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp., American Dental Assn., McBee Strategic Consulting, and Puget Energy.[43] The labor, finance/insurance/real estate, transportation, misc. business, and health sectors were the largest contributing sectors.[43] The major industry donations came from health professionals, transportation unions, building trade unions, retired, and sea transport.[43]


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

Larsen was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on October 13, 2010.[44]


In 2012, Larsen won reelection with 61% of the vote to Republican nominee Dan Matthews's 39%.[45]


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.[46] Larsen defeated Hennemann, 64% to 36%.[47]

Electoral history

Washington's 2nd congressional district: Results 2000–2022[48]
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%
2022 Rick Larsen 202,980 60% Dan Matthews 134,335 39%

Personal life

Larsen married Tiia Ingrid Karlen in 1994. They have two children.


  1. ^ "Committees and Caucuses | U.S. Representative Rick Larsen". Retrieved February 27, 2023.
  2. ^ Patterson, Nick (July 4, 2022). "How Rep. Rick Larsen helped Seattle secure its 2026 World Cup bid". The Everett Herald. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  3. ^ "Washington State Public Disclosure Commission Lobbyist Identification Form". January 7, 1997.
  4. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Rick Larsen. "Committees and Caucuses". Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Defectors". The American Prospect. September 18, 2005.
  12. ^ "Politics Home Page: Roll Call". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "Rep. Rick Larsen - Washington District 02, Top Industries 1999 - 2020".
  14. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  15. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Interest Group Ratings". May 14, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  16. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Voting Record". July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  17. ^ Shirley, Julie. "About 500 rally Tuesday evening in Bellingham to defend abortion rights". The Bellingham Herald. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  18. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 477". June 26, 2009.
  19. ^ "Wild Sky wilderness bill back in Congress". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  20. ^ @RepRickLarsen (February 8, 2019). "Register" (Tweet). Retrieved August 26, 2023 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Browse Receipts".
  22. ^ "Washington Progressive Voters Guide". Fuse Washington. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  23. ^ "Healthcare - Rick Larsen, Representing Washington State's 2nd Congressional District". March 23, 2010. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  24. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Larsen on HR 3962 - Health Care and Insurance Law Amendments". Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  25. ^ "Rick Larsen Town Hall". San Juan Island Update. March 27, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  26. ^ "H.R.1419: Public Option Deficit". August 12, 2015.
  27. ^ "Letter from Rep. Rick Larsen's office regarding Medicare for All". November 13, 2017.
  28. ^ "Schakowsky Introduces the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act". January 9, 2015.
  29. ^ "One Congressman's take on impeachment". RobLewis. January 30, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  30. ^ "Rep. Larsen Statement". July 18, 2019
  31. ^ "Lee of California Substitute Amendment". October 10, 2002.
  32. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 300". June 20, 2006.
  33. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 411". June 3, 2011.
  34. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Rick Larsen - Voting Record". Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  35. ^ "Rick Larsen a rare voice of moderation in Congress". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. July 17, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  36. ^ "PeacePAC Voting Record, 2005–2006, 107th Congress" (PDF).
  37. ^ "Larsen: Troops will be in Iraq 'well into next the administration'". South Whidbey Record. January 30, 2008.
  38. ^ "Iraq - Rick Larsen, Representing Washington State's 2nd Congressional District". September 11, 2001. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  39. ^ a b c d "Project Vote Smart". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  40. ^ "Project Vote Smart". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  41. ^ "Rep. Larsen loses backing of Machinists over Boeing offer". January 13, 2014.
  42. ^ "Cosponsors - H.R.3 - 109th Congress (2005-2006): SAFETEA-LU". Library of Congress. August 10, 2005.
  43. ^ a b c d e "Project Vote Smart". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  44. ^ Larsen deserves re-election, editorial board, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 13, 2010
  45. ^ Reed, Sam. "2nd Congression District election". 2012 election results. WA STATE SEC OF STATE.
  46. ^ "He didn't like congressman's reply to his question, so now he's running against him". miamiherald. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  47. ^ "Washington's 2nd Congressional District election, 2016 - Ballotpedia". Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  48. ^ "Election Results and Voters Pamphlets". Secretary of State of Washington. Retrieved February 3, 2017.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 2 March 2024, at 03:19
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