Murray announces he’s ending his re-election bid at Alki Bathhouse. Photo by Sara Bernard

Murray Drops Re-Election Bid, Will Finish Term

The move comes more than a month after sex abuse allegations against the mayor emerged.

This morning, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he is ending his campaign for re-election. The news comes a little more than a month after The Seattle Times revealed that Murray is being sued for allegedly paying a minor for sex and also raping him. Three other men have made similar allegations.

The mood was somber, like a funeral. In the minutes before Murray arrived, people stood around on stage and in the audience. There were lots of pursed lips, tense whispers, and clasped hands.

Then Murray walked in, and the room erupted into applause for much longer than usual for a mayoral announcement. Joined by staff, supporters, labor and business representatives and councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tim Burgess at Alki Bathhouse in West Seattle, where he grew up, Murray read prepared comments via teleprompter. The longtime state legislator described at length his many accomplishments as representative, senator and most recently the executive of Seattle, including the passage of marriage equality and anti-discrimination protections for LGBT Washingtonians.

“But this campaign for mayor must be about the future of our city,” said Murray. “The mayor’s race must be focused on [city] issues, not on a scandal, which it would remain focused on if I remained in this race.” Consequently, he’s dropping out of his reelection bid:

“I am announcing that I am withdrawing as a candidate for mayor,” he said.

Murray reiterated that he is innocent of the charges against him. He also thanked his husband, Michael Shiosaki, who he said has not received enough credit for how he’s handled the role of First Gentleman, and gave a long list of thanks to the people who have supported him throughout his career.

“As a poor kid from Alki, being mayor of this city has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Murray. “I am proud to have been part of some remarkable achievements that, for my entire life, people told me would never happen – from the civil rights bill to the ring I wear on my finger – and I plan to continue fighting for equity long after I am mayor. To the people of Seattle, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this great city for more than two decades.”

Murray, who is ethnically Irish, concluded with a quotation from former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “To be Irish is to know that the world will break your heart. We thought we had a little more time.”

cjaywork@seattleweekly.com

This post has been edited.

More in News & Comment

Rape Allegation Against Sen. Joe Fain Divides King County Council

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kathy Lambert blamed Fain’s accuser for the alleged rape. Then Lambert’s colleagues distanced themselves from her comments.

The Seattle City Council introduced legislation to approve the Seattle Police Officer Guild’s tentative agreement with the city on Oct. 15, 2018. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Will Seattle’s Police Contract Stand the Test of Reforms?

The Seattle City Council introduced legislation to approve a long-awaited agreement, but not everyone seems satisfied.

Paul Allen, shown in 2015. Courtesy of the Herald
Paul Allen Dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder, developer, and philanthropist routinely struggled with cancer.

Le family attorneys Linda Tran and Jeff Campiche stand on either side of Tommy Le’s parents, Hoai Le and Dieu Ho, at the Dat Lat Quan Vietnamese restaurant in White Center on Oct. 14. Photo by Josh Kelety
‘We’re Not Going to Give Up’: Vietnamese Community Rallies for Tommy Le

Over a year after law enforcement fatally shot the 20-year-old Burien resident, family and community members remain galvanized to seek justice.

County Officials to Use Downtown Seattle Jail as Homeless Shelter

The facility will house between 125 and 150 people, allow for 24-hour access, and likely won’t require that individuals be sober to stay there.

State Supreme Court Strikes Down Death Penalty

All nine justices found the use of capital punishment in Washington state unconstitutional and racially biased.

Incarcerated and Infirmed: How Northwest Detention Center Is Failing Sick Inmates

Inadequate medical care plagues immigrants at the facility, but ICE claims otherwise.

Most Read