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Originally published Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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The Times recommends Larsen, Koster in the 2nd Congressional District

The Seattle Times editorial board is recommending two very different candidates in the 2nd Congressional District in hopes that incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and Snohomish County Councilman John Koster will engage on the important issues of the day: creating jobs, cutting the deficit and getting out of the wars.

IN the 2nd Congressional District, the Times editorial board is recommending the two candidates who faced off for the seat 10 years ago.

In 2000, Rick Larsen won the challenge from John Koster, who is now a Snohomish County Council member. We are not thrilled with either candidate by any stretch — and they are very different individuals.

We agree with each on some issues — such as Koster on cutting the deficit and Larsen on his sophisticated trade approach.

We are diametrically opposed to each on others — confounded by Koster's denial of human-caused climate change and by Larsen's siding with big media companies against Net neutrality.

Disappointingly, both seem comfortable with the U.S. lingering in Afghanistan in hopes of better outcomes. After nine years, we say it is time to get out and redirect the money to domestic challenges.

We disagree with Larsen's view that raising taxes on wealthier individuals will not hurt the economy more than it helps the government's bottom line. Private investment and expanding small and medium businesses will grow the economy — they need access to capital.

Koster hits the right notes in these areas. As a former Arlington dairy producer, he knows what it is like to run a business, comply with regulations and meet a payroll. Larsen, the former lobbyist, does not have that experience.

The other Democrats in the race, Larry Kalb and Diana McGinness, both from Bellingham, are challenging Larsen from the left.

The Republican, John Carmack of Bellingham, is not posing a serious challenge.

Before the general election, we hope Larsen and Koster engage more directly on the most important issues of the day — namely, creating jobs, growing the economy, cutting the deficit and getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

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