EXCLUSIVE: Washington state congressional candidate Matt Larkin is running on a tough-on-crime platform based on supporting law enforcement in an effort to "make crime illegal again" amid skyrocketing crime and failed liberal leadership in Seattle.
Larkin, a Republican who lost his bid for Washington state attorney general to the incumbent Democrat in 2020, plans to challenge sitting Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier for the seat representing the 8th District of Washington.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Larkin said that skyrocketing violent crime, rising homelessness and the growing number of assaults on police officers motivated him to jump into the race.
"There is an astounding failure of left-wing prosecutors to pursue charges against criminals and it makes us all unsafe. They refuse to prosecute crime, and I’m running on a platform to make crime illegal again," Larkin told Fox News.
"I can only pray we don’t see another ‘summer of love,’" said the congressional hopeful.
Last summer, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan received heavy backlash for her comment referring to a violent occupy protest, known as the "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" (CHOP), in the east precinct of Seattle as a harmless "summer of love."
When asked about the rioters in Seattle and in Portland, Oregon, over last summer -- many who attacked courthouses, assaulted police officers and have gone without trials -- Larkin called it a problem, but said he is "not surprised." He said that 89% of arrests for all crimes in the city of Seattle go without any resolution.
"Our Seattle city prosecutor refuses to prosecute crime and is making it easier and easier to commit crime," said Larkin. "If crimes go without any resolution, people think they can get away with anything. If you give an inch, criminals will take a mile."
Violent crime, including murders and kidnappings, has significantly gone up in Seattle over the last few years.
Larkin specifically pointed to troubling statistics revealing that the frequency of human trafficking incidents in Washington state have increased nearly 2,000% over the last few years.
Larkin also told Fox News that Biden's hypocrisy was revealed by the administration's decision to put violence caused by rioters in Seattle over the summer on the backburner, while actively pursing cases against the U.S. Capitol rioters.
This is a "typical liberal double standard," he said. "If [the democrats] were intellectually honest, they would want to be investigating Portland, they would want to be investigating Seattle, they would want to be investigating the riots all over the country we saw and the anarchy and violence we saw."
Larkin elaborated, "These are real violent instances that happened, and to ignore one and actively pursue another, is not leadership. It's sad to see this by the Biden administration, but I am not surprised."
Support for funding the police, not defunding or stripping away resources, is also close to Larkin's heart.
Larkin said that especially over the summer, law enforcement officers were being abused by rioters who were "literally trying to burn them alive in precincts across Seattle."
"They threw a flaming spear into the window of an occupied police car and tried to burn the officer alive. These things are real, these are not stories for dramatic effect, these things are really happening," said Larkin.
"Law enforcement needs our help, especially since Seattle is still slashing the police budget." Larkin continued, "When crime is skyrocketing, that is not the time to cut your law enforcement budget. It is going to exacerbate the problem."
The 8th district of Washington is a swing district bordering bright blue Seattle. It had been ruled by Republicans since the 1980s until Schrier flipped the seat to the Democrats' column in 2018.
Larkin won the 8th district by over 51% of the vote during the AG race in 2020, and the Washington conservative points to the figure as evidence that the seat can be won by a Republican.
Larkin told Fox News that running for congress is "a heart mission" and an unique opportunity to enact real change in the state and across the country.
The longtime Washington native, resides in the state with his wife and four young children. He received his law degree from Gonzaga University and previously worked in the George W. Bush White House and as a criminal prosecutor.
The state's primary will be held in August 2022.