Matt Larkin won’t be attorney general, but still wants to make a difference
He may have lost the state attorney general race to incumbent Bob Ferguson, but Woodinville resident and small business owner Matt Larkin says the journey is far from over.
Taking a tougher line against crime in Washington was the focus of Larkin’s campaign, and he is adamant that he will keep working for the people of Washington.
“We’ll see what doors open and where I feel like I can make a difference, to be honest,” Larkin said. “I don’t know what that path looks like, but these things are not worth giving up on.”
He “won’t rule out” another campaign in the future — whether for attorney general or a different office — because he is determined to do his part to effect change.
“If I feel that there is an opportunity to run and that position, whatever that would be, could be something that could make a difference on the level that I want to make a difference at, then that would be great, I would probably consider it,” he said.
However, just days after the 2020 election, he has not thought about anything definitive yet.
“You can make a difference just in your community, in your neighborhood, in your city, and that’s what we intend to do,” Larkin said.
Larkin grew up in Magnolia and lived with his wife in Green Lake when they were first married, but he said he left his home city because it was just too dangerous for him.
“I don’t recognize Seattle anymore — it’s not the same place,” he said. “It feels unsafe … and I just didn’t feel like there were any answers or solutions, and no one was willing to roll up their sleeves and address it.”
Larkin said his experience as a business owner at family pipe product business Romac Industries in Bothell helped him relate to the challenges local businesses are facing.
“It was both sad and heartening to hear from these small business owners all throughout Seattle who said that they don’t feel like they don’t have a voice anymore, they don’t feel like anyone is standing up for them,” he said. “These are mom-and-pop coffee shop owners, sushi shop owners, dry cleaners, all of these small businesses that no one really thinks about. They struggle in Seattle these days.”
One café had been robbed six times in the first year of being in business. Larkin said that business owner started leaving his register unlocked at night so burglars wouldn’t break it open, and was thinking of leaving the door unlocked altogether to avoid repeated instances of broken windows.
“I still think we need a safer state, I still worry about the future of this state for my kids. I don’t like the way the crime is going, I don’t like the way the homeless situation is out of control,” Larkin said. “We need to find solutions to fix this stuff, and whatever that looks like, I’m willing to do.”
In the meantime, Larkin is continuing on-the-ground work with charities like Union Gospel Mission and Vision House, which help people experiencing homelessness. He’s also spending more time with his wife and four children after months on the campaign trail.
“Like a lot of people, I’m ready to put 2020 behind us,” he laughed.