Mike McGinn conceded in the Seattle mayoral race Thursday morning.
The mayor said he called Sen. Ed Murray and congratulated him on his victory.
“I offered him support in the transition … and let him know that he’s in for an extraordinary four years.”
McGinn said Murray was very gracious in his response.
Murray won the election with 55% of the vote.
In their campaign to court Seattle’s left-leaning voters, the two mayoral candidates embraced ideas such as a $15 minimum wage, new taxes and legal marijuana. They each have lengthy backgrounds championing liberal causes in the Seattle area.
“I never thought of running on a legacy,” McGinn said. “I always thought about trying everyday to do the best thing and look to the future.”
McGinn said he was proud of his accomplishments, despite all the criticisms. And he pointed out many of the campaign issues Murray won on were taken directly from his own platform.
“Essentially, the agenda that I was pushing with the people who said that’s what they wanted that became the agenda of the city. So that’s pretty amazing.”
Murray is a longtime state lawmaker who for years led efforts to legalize gay marriage in the state, which was approved by voters last year. He’s also led efforts to broker major deals in Olympia, such as two transportation revenue packages that were passed in 2003 and 2005. He will be Seattle’s first openly gay mayor.
Murray said Wednesday morning he would make public safety and hiring a new police chief priorities. The Seattle Police Department is under a federal court-appointed monitor overseeing changes following Justice Department findings that officers routinely used excessive force.
Before becoming mayor, McGinn was an activist with the environmental group Sierra Club, and he has continued to stake out a message of environmental stewardship. McGinn often rides his bike around Seattle, is pushing for pension fund money to be divested from coal companies and is an advocate for expanded transit services.
McGinn said he realizes he rubbed people the wrong way sometimes but hopes they realize he was always “trying to do the right thing.”
“I think the single biggest accomplishment is we changed the debate in this city.”
He said he plans to keep working hard on the budget and other issues over the remaining days of his time in office, but won’t be launching any new initiatives.
Looking ahead, he said he’ll continue working in public service in some capacity, as he’s done throughout his life.
“You know, I’ve had a great, great job for four years. I have seen so many amazing things across this city,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.