John Koster

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John Koster
Snohomish County Council, District 1
In office
January 1, 2002 (2002-01-01) – January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01)
Preceded by Mike Ashley
Succeeded by Ken Klein
Washington State Representative from the 39th Legislative District, Position 2
In office
January 9, 1995 (1995-01-09) – January 8, 2001 (2001-01-08)[1]
Preceded by Hans Dunshee
Succeeded by Kirk Pearson
Personal details
Born John M. Koster
(1951-09-08) September 8, 1951 (age 65)
Arlington, Washington, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Vicki L. (Peterson) Koster
Residence Arlington Heights, Washington
Alma mater Everett Community College (A.A.)
Profession American Politician and Former Dairy farm Owner, Manager, and Consultant

John M. Koster (born September 8, 1951) is an American politician of the Republican Party.[2] He is a former member of the Snohomish County Council and Washington House of Representatives. Koster has three times ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000, 2010, and 2012. In November 2015, Koster was elected Charter Review Commissioner for Snohomish County.[3]

During the 2012 election, Koster was asked after a campaign fundraiser on October 28, 2012, about exceptions from abortion prohibition for rape and incest victims. He said, "Incest is so rare, I mean, it's so rare ... But the rape thing—you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption, and she doesn't regret it." He added, "On the rape thing, it's like, how does putting more violence onto a woman's body and taking the life of an innocent child that's a consequence of this crime—how does that make it better? You know what I mean?"[4]

His comments, including the use of the words "rape thing", drew local and national criticism.[5][6][7][8] Koster acknowledged that his comments may have caused him to lose the election in Washington's most competitive district.[9]

On December 20, 2013 it was announced that the term-limited Koster would be the first-ever Snohomish County Ombudsman after his term in the Snohomish County Council comes to an end on January 1, 2014.[10]


  1. ^ "State of Washington; Members of the Legislature, 1889-2009" (PDF). March 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "John Koster, Former Washington House Candidate (R)". 23 July 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Snohomish County Unofficial Election Results : November 8, 2016 Presidential General Election". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  4. ^ Baker, Mike (October 31, 2012). "GOP Hopeful: 'Rape Thing' Not Cause for Abortion". SeattlePi. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ Kaminsky, Jonathan (November 9, 2012). "John Koster, GOP House Candidate Who Spoke Of 'The Rape Thing', Conceding House Race". Huffington Post. Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Collier, Myles (November 1, 2012). "John Koster 'Rape Thing' Comments Ignite Controversy". North America. The Christian Post. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ Howley, Kerry (November 1, 2012). "You're Pro-Life, I'm Pro-Life, We're All Pro-Life". Slate. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ Heffter, Emily (October 31, 2012). "Koster Draws Fire Over Comments About Abortion, 'The Rape Thing'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Heffter, Emily. "DelBene Beats Koster in Race for U.S. HouseDems Hold State's Most Competitive District". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Koster to be first-ever county ombudsman". December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.