Bart ponders run at Larsen’s Congress seat

OLYMPIA — Former Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart said Wednesday he is pondering a run for Congress, a year after he stunned Republicans by abruptly ending a campaign for county executive.

Bart said he is exploring a race against incumbent Democrat Rep. Rick Larsen and is looking to make his decision by the end of March.

He said Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., a former King County sheriff, is lobbying Bart to run. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash. and Republican candidate for governor Dino Rossi also have encouraged Bart to launch a bid for the 2nd District seat.

“I don’t want to run unless I can make it a good race and that means money,” Bart said. “If we can raise the money, then I’ll get in. If I cannot raise the money, I won’t run.”

Money is no problem for Larsen. By the end of last year he had raised $671,000 and had $474,000 in the bank. And he’s held a couple fundraisers since Jan. 1 to add to his total.

“I will raise $1.3 million to $1.5 million to tell folks what I have done and what I hope to do in the next two years,” he said Wednesday.

Larsen said he intends to seek his fifth term as the representative of the 2nd Congressional District that encompasses part of Snohomish County and all of Island, Skagit, Whatcom and San Juan counties.

Until recently, his opponent was Doug Roulstone, the same man he defeated in 2006. Roulstone pulled out for personal reasons last month.

Bart, who said he likes Larsen, pledged that if he runs it will be a grass-roots effort built around issues of public safety. He’ll look to capitalize on voter frustration with congressional incumbents.

Larsen said, “I’m not concerned. Change in this country is not going to come in the form of more Republicans in Congress in 2008.”

A lack of money played a role in Bart’s decision last March to withdraw from the race against Democratic Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

Bart announced on Feb. 9, 2005 he planned to take on Reardon and formally kicked off his campaign in June 2006.

Yet by March 20, the day he left the race, he had raised just $21,000. That was one-tenth of what Reardon had amassed up to that point.

“People talk with their checkbooks,” Bart said at the time. “I get the hint. Why try to buck a machine if you don’t have the tools to do it?”

Personal reasons, including the death of his father, also led Bart to exit the race.

When he did get out, party leaders scrambled for a replacement candidate. In the end Jack Turk, a professional magician and political unknown, signed on. He didn’t raise any money and was soundly defeated.

Bart said he’s not been hearing from many Republicans who are so upset about last year that they won’t support him this year.

“There’s only been a few of those naysayers,” he said.

Reporter Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Car crashes into Everett apartment, displacing residents

No one was injured in the crash late Friday, according to Everett police.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read