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3 local candidates in congressional race


Last updated 5/30/2012 at Noon

Brian Sullivan isn’t the only Mukiltean with dreams of serving in Congress.

Two more from Mukilteo are also running for a seat in November’s congressional race.

Republican Dan Matthews is challenging Rep. Rick Larsen for his seat in the redrawn 2nd Congressional District, which now stretches from Lake Washington to Bellingham and includes Island and San Juan counties.

The other candidates for the district are Republicans Eli Olson of Marysville and John C.W. Shoop of Mount Vernon; Mike Lapointe of Everett, who is involved in the Occupy Everett movement; and Glen S. Johnson of Mount Vernon, who lists no party preference.

The other Mukilteans, Independent Bob Champion and Snohomish County District 2 representative Sullivan are both vying for a seat in the 1st Congressional District in a special election to serve the last month of U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee's term.

The old district race will coincide with the regular election of a representative to serve a two-year term in the redrawn district, which reaches the Canadian border and includes Snohomish, Skagit, King and Whatcom counties.

Nine others are also running for the short-term seat. The other candidates are Democrats Brian Berry of Lake Forest Park, Ruth Morrison of Lynnwood, Laura Ruderman of Kirkland, J. Byron Holcomb of Bainbridge Island, Darshan Rauniyar of Bothell, Suzan DelBene of Medina, Darcy Burner of Redmond; and Republicans John Koster of Arlington and Steven J. Gerdes of Lynnwood, five of whom are also running for the two-year term.

The following is an introduction to the lesser-known Mukiltean candidates:

Dan Matthews

Congressional District 2

Dan Matthews, a military veteran and professional pilot, is running because he believes the country is on the wrong course.

If the nation continues in the direction it’s in, he said, the economy will suffer and more Americans will lose their jobs, their homes, their health care and perhaps their pensions. To change course, Matthews believes he needs to unseat 12-year incumbent Larsen, who he said is among the politicians who “got us into this mess.”

“Change is overdue,” he said. “I bring the necessary leadership and decision-making perspective to address the vital issues now facing our nation.”

His priorities include the economy, job growth, cuts to government spending, and defense and veteran issues, including fee increases on military benefits. If elected, he would work to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

“The government takeover of healthcare is unwarranted and unwise,” Matthews said. “If Rick Larsen had asked the people of this district is they wanted this – he would have found they do not.

“We can do better than this.”

He said he would support Boeing and stand up for small businesses, local farmers and entrepreneurs. He would also work to end class warfare.

“I am here to listen to my constituents,” Matthews said. “I am not a career politician. It’s time for some leadership, and even sacrifice, to get the job done.”

Matthews graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in political science. While on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, he earned a master’s degree in public administration, specializing in urban, state and federal governance.

He retired recently after 31 years flying for a major airline. He also flew in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm, and retired as a lieutenant colonel and command pilot after 22 years of service. He is now a contract instructor pilot for Boeing’s 747.

Matthews served on the Shoreline School Board for four years, during which time he lobbied Congress on education issues. He is founder and president of Celebrate America, a patriotic service organization.

He and his wife, Jan, have lived in Mukilteo for 12 years. Together they have four children and four grandchildren. His hobbies include hiking, golfing, gardening, writing and photography.

He is involved in numerous organizations, including The Everett Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Rifle Association, The Washington State Farm Bureau and the Mainstream Republicans of Washington.

Read a Q&A with Dan Matthews at or go to for more information.

Bob Champion

Congressional District 1

Bob Champion is running for the 1st Congressional District’s one-month term because he is weary of partisan politics and the process paralysis that has gripped Washington, D.C.

He said he is frustrated by Congress’ inability to pass a budget in a timely manner.

Champion’s priority is to be a “voice of change.” He believes the top issue, barring any resolution before the August recess, is the budget, and that it can only be managed if all parties work together.

“I believe that in this special election, ‘We the People’ have a unique opportunity to voice our strong desire that the parties shun their partisan politics and demand that the parties work together on the problems that unite us,” Champion said.

Without congressional action, he said, most Americans will face higher taxes, and Congress will face automatic spending cuts, loss of the government’s borrowing authority and the end of payroll tax cuts.

“I believe the Bowles-Simpson fiscal plan should be the basis for meaningful bipartisan consensus,” he said. “Absent of any meaningful tax reform, the parties will be forced to extend the Bush/Obama era tax cuts.”

As a proponent of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal plan, he would also advocate for a limited extension of the Bush tax cuts to allow Congress time to finalize the Bowles-Simpson plan. If elected, he would also push to extend sales tax deductions without individual income taxes.

Champion has worked in the aviation industry since 1980. He is the staff scientist of research and development for Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology – Redmond Flight Safety Systems. His management experience includes manufacturing, engineering, operations, advanced technology engineering programs and aircraft certifications.

“I have been fortunate to work with some of the most influential people in aviation,” he said. “The teams that I have been on, or have led, are successful because they have a clearly stated objective, sound execution plans, and are fiscally responsible.”

Originally from Akron, Ohio, Champion received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University. He spent one year in Washington, D.C. and then moved to Washington state in 1980.

He and his wife, Mary, enjoy traveling, fishing, the beach, and the outdoors. He also likes to cook and is an avid baseball fan.

Read a Q&A with Bob Champion at


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