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Koster to Run Again in Washington State

Snohomish County Councilman John Koster announced Thursday that he is running for a Washington state Congressional seat again after coming up 2 points short last year against Rep. Rick Larsen (D).

The former state Representative raised more than $1.1 million last cycle and was boosted by $600,000 in outside TV advertising spending against Larsen. Koster led on election night, but Larsen finished ahead following nearly a week of ballot counting.

According to a press release, Koster’s “conservative, free market message was received with excitement and followed by enthusiastic ovations” during recent Lincoln Day event speeches, and he has been urged by supporters to consider running against Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) next year.

Koster had not ruled out that possibility but now says the House is “where his heart is.”

“We must all realize that the election of 2010 was ‘half time’ in terms of expanding the majority in the U.S. House, attaining the majority in the Senate and gaining the Presidency,” Koster said. “My commitment to voters has never changed: I will not vote for increased taxes and I will stand against the overreaching arm of government.”

After a strong fundraising showing last cycle, Koster is starting from scratch in his 2012 bid. According to Federal Election Commission reports filed last month, Koster raised just $339 in the first quarter and had no cash on hand. Larsen raised nearly $100,000 and had $261,000 in the bank at the end of the quarter.

Washington state is gaining a Congressional district in reapportionment, so it is still unknown what any of the state’s 10 districts’ boundaries will be. Larsen currently represents the 2nd district, located in the northwest corner of the state between Seattle and Canada. Obama won the district by 14 points in 2008.

Both Larsen and Koster live in Snohomish County, the southernmost county in the district.