Rick Larsen remains the most credible candidate and deserves to be re-elected.

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The power of incumbency continues to favor U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen.

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Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen

Strengths: Willingness to take positions that go against his liberal base, deep understanding on international trade

The power of incumbency continues to favor U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen. A popular Democrat from the 2nd Congressional District, he is the most credible candidate and deserves a ninth term."

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A popular Democrat from the 2nd Congressional District, he is the most credible candidate and deserves a ninth term.

Although he nearly lost to Republican John Koster in 2010, Larsen continues to show a willingness to take positions that have riled his liberal base. As one of Washington’s superdelegates, he felt the backlash for endorsing Hillary Clinton.

The Bernie Sanders supporters in his district, which stretches from Mountlake Terrace to Bellingham, have not been terribly forgiving. But Larsen has not backtracked.

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He felt a similar unrest in 2014 when he wisely urged Boeing Machinists to vote on a controversial contract offer.

Larsen has a deep understanding of international trade and the value it brings to this state. Although he voted the right way for the Trade Promotion Authority, he has yet to commit to the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Larsen helped shape the five-year, $305 billion highway bill, and is now well positioned to send federal funds back home for vital ferry, rail, bike and pedestrian-safety improvements.

On gun safety, he joined civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia in a sit-in on the House floor to demand a vote on banning military-style assault weapons, funding research into gun violence and common-sense background checks.

Larsen’s fellow Democratic opponent, Mike Lapointe, is a labor and environmental activist who launched the Wall Street protest group “Occupy Everett” at his coffee shop. He argues Larsen is out of sync with Democratic values. His Republican opponent, Marc Hennemann, is an Air Force veteran.

None of his challengers makes a case to turn out Larsen.