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Koster announces repeat run for U.S. House seat

John Koster has announced he'll take another shot at winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Koster, a Republican and Snohomish County councilman who served three terms as a Washington state Representative, lost to U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen in a rematch race for the House in 2010.

Last November, Koster collected 48.9 percent of the vote to Larsen's 51 percent - a difference of 6,519 votes - for the 2nd District seat.

The announcement wasn't entirely unexpected. The National Republican Congressional Committee has been beating a near-daily drumbeat against Larsen, issuing regular press releases criticizing the incumbent for everything from supporting healthcare reform and federal stimulus efforts to voting against the Republican House budget proposal by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan that would have cut Medicare and Medicaid while increasing tax breaks for America's wealthiest.

Koster did not directly name Larsen as his opponent, but it's still unclear if the upcoming redistricting effort will push Koster, an Arlington resident, outside of the 2nd District. Koster also hinted Thursday that a campaign for a Senate seat had also crossed his mind.

"We have reached a critical juncture in our history where expectations of government must now change. Government simply cannot be all things to all people," Koster said in his campaign announcement Thursday.

"Nonetheless, liberal progressives in Washington, D.C. have consistently shrugged off the warnings, and the price tag is enormous debt. 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," he said.

Koster's campaign noted it had raised more than $1.1 million for his 2010 race,  and Koster said some supporters had wanted him to run against United States Senator Maria Cantwell.

Koster indicated he has not ruled out the possibility, but said pursing a seat in the U.S. House is "where his heart is."

"My commitment to voters has never changed: I will not vote for increased taxes and I will stand against the overreaching arm of government," said Koster.

The 2nd District includes Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties, and portions of Snohomish and King counties.

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