Larsen vs. Koster: Race gets tight, candidates on edge

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by ROBERT MAK / KING 5 NEWS

KING5.com

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM

It's always interesting to note how candidates interact in the moments before a debate.

We just concluded taping a debate between John Koster and Rick Larsen that will air on KING 5 News Up Front this weekend.  You'd think these two might share some history, both growing up in Arlington and running against each other 10 years ago.  But it's clear, they both have little in common on camera and off.  In fact, the debate got a bit testy at times.

Also today, a new KING 5 poll shows Republican challenger Koster slightly ahead of Democratic incumbent Rick in the 2nd Congressional District.  Of likely voters polled in Washington state's 2nd district, 50% tell SurveyUSA they would vote for Koster, 46% for Larsen.  4% are undecided in a poll with a +/- 4% margin.

In the poll, both candidates are holding support within their respective parties.  It's independents who are breaking in the Republican column.

In the debate, Larsen accused Koster of signing a pledge that would give tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas.  Koster denied signing any such pledge.  Koster did sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, in which he opposed any increase in marginal income tax rates, and opposed any reduction in deduction and credits unless offset by reductions in tax rates.

The two also faced off over whether to eliminate the federal Department of Education.  Koster says the money could be distributed to states and local schools, which should have more control over education.  Larsen says local school districts would be short changed.

We'll have a short preview of the debate Friday on K5 News at 5:00.  Up Front has a special airing Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and regular airings Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. on KING.

 

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