Editorial: Return Larsen to Congress

Congressman Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Arlington, fully deserves another term in the U.S. House of Representatives. For years he has faithfully catered to the needs of the U.S. Navy in Oak Harbor and Everett, working his way up in the congressional pecking order to gain more military influence year by year.

One of Larsen’s most important successes to the Oak Harbor community is the new veterans clinic in Mount Vernon. The present facility is temporary, awaiting the opening of a new building in the near future. But its a godsend to veterans and their families who formerly needed to travel to Seattle for all their health care needs. The clinic will save innumerable trips the big, congested city and make life considerably easier for Island County residents who have served their nation in the military.

Larsen hasn’t ducked controversy during his career. He voted against the authorization for the war in Iraq but supported its funding. Now he wants to get out sooner rather than later, making neither side entirely happy in the process. More recently, he supported the so-called Wall Street bailout bill despite considerable opposition in his own district. Agree or disagree, it’s good to have a representative who calls’em as he sees’em and is willing to be held accountable for voting his conscience.

Because of the importance of seniority, voters should not change congressmen on a whim. Republican Rick Bart is a good candidate with a law enforcement background, but we don’t need a rookie in the job. Larsen has worked hard and effectively to represent his district and he’s working his way up in a heavily-Democratic Congress. The Second District has much to gain if he is returned to the other Washington.

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