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Originally published Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 4:30 PM

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Republican Matthews can give incumbent Democrat Larsen a challenge in 2nd Congressional District

Democratic incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen needs a serious challenge for re-election to Congress from the 2nd District. Republican Dan Matthews can provide it this fall.

Seattle Times Editorial

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U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, the long-serving Democrat from Lake Stevens in the 2nd Congressional District, needs to be challenged and tested for re-election. Republican Dan Matthews of Mukilteo has the capacity to do it.

Matthews served on the Shoreline School Board in the 1980s. He is a former military pilot, a retired instructor for Northwest and Delta airlines and currently a contract instructor of Boeing. His résumé includes a variety of community activities.

He knows the region, has served his country and knows firsthand the role of the aerospace industry in the state's economy. The candidate, who describes himself as socially and financially conservative, is a founding member of the The Cousteau Society, with strong environmental views on clean water.

The 2nd District includes the urban areas of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties and all of Island and San Juan counties.

Larsen has worked to sustain the military connection in the region, with civilian jobs via the Air Force refueling tanker and Boeing, and maintenance a strong presence at the naval and air installations.

Disappointingly, Larsen has been a consistent opponent of net neutrality, which requires Internet service providers to treat the movement of all content on their networks equally.

Larsen goes into the primary with four challengers besides Matthews: Mike Lapointe of Everett, who prefers The 99 Percent Party; Glen S. Johnson is a farmer from Mount Vernon, with no party preference; Eli Olson is a Republican from Marysville, and John C. W. Shoop is a Republican who lives near Mount Vernon.

Voters in the 2nd District need a straightforward conversation about government spending, revenues, jobs and foreign policy. Larsen and Matthews can give the district the focused discussion needed.

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