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Koster narrowly leads Larsen, both agree race too close to call

Snohomish County Council member John Koster, right, has a slight lead over U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen in the early returns of the Congressional District 2 race on the evening of the Nove. 2 General Election.  - Kirk Boxleitner
Snohomish County Council member John Koster, right, has a slight lead over U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen in the early returns of the Congressional District 2 race on the evening of the Nove. 2 General Election.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON - It was a race that pitted one Arlington native against another, and by the final night of their campaigns, one of the few things that both candidates could agree on was that it was still too soon to say how it would turn out.

Snohomish County Council member John Koster maintained a slight lead over U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen in the early returns of the Congressional District 2 race on the evening of Election Day. As of 11:15 p.m. Nov. 2, Republican challenger Koster had received 87,687 counted votes, or 50.41 percent of the counted vote, while Democratic incumbent Larsen had received 86,258 counted votes, or 49.59 percent of the counted vote, with 64 percent of the expected total votes counted.

Although Larsen deemed the race too close to call in a press statement issued at 9:45 p.m. Nov. 2, he expressed confidence that he would win once all the votes were counted.

"I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this campaign a success," Larsen said. "We ran a smart campaign, focused on local issues like making sure the Air Force Tanker is built right here in northwest Washington and helping our local small businesses grow and start hiring again. And that is why I am confident that I will prevail. I look forward to a swift resolution to this election and continuing to represent the people of northwest Washington."

Larsen's political director, Brooke Davis, stated that he would not be available for comment Nov. 3.

"I'm very optimistic, but I'm not ready to declare victory yet," Koster said at 11 p.m. Nov. 2. "But if this follows the pattern of the primary, our lead should stretch out even more as more votes are counted."

Koster expressed his gratitude to the number of voters who gave of their time and resources to support his campaign, which he deemed reflective of larger trends nationwide.

"It's not about me, or about Democrats and Republicans," Koster said. "It's about people who want their country back on track from high unemployment and deficit spending. They're very unhappy with the health care bill and the way it was passed. This is a referendum on the past couple of years, not just here but across the country."

By contrast, Larsen's fellow Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, came from behind to take a slim lead over her Republican challenger, Dino Rossi, in those same early returns. Murray's 721,742 counted votes gave her 50.50 of the counted vote, while Rossi's 707,481 counted votes gave him 49.50 percent of the counted vote, with 65 percent of the expected total votes counted by 11:15 p.m. Nov. 2.

Additional election results available here.

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