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McGinn to ‘focus on the issues,’ not sex abuse claims made against Murray

Mike McGinn says he wants to focus on the issues, not Mayor Murray's sexual abuse controversies. (AP)

Mike McGinn says he wants his job back as mayor to get the city back to the “basics,” by focusing on safe streets, maintaining buildings, human services, and getting more police in what he called “hot spots.” But there was also an elephant in the room: The issues surrounding the current mayor, which may be what provided McGinn’s opening into the race.

RELATED: Mayor Murray urges voters to remember ‘paralysis’ of past years

KIRO Radio’s Don O’Neill wasted no time getting to that issue, asking McGinn about the presumption that he is being opportunistic in announcing his mayoral candidacy on Monday, shortly after Mayor Ed Murray was accused of molesting young men decades ago. O’Neill pressed McGinn on the topic, asking for the former mayor’s take on the allegations.

“Here’s what I think, and I’m being really genuine here, we get an election every four years, we should get to talk about the issues,” McGinn responded. “We should get to talk about what matters to Seattle.”

But Don did not let that response stand.

“So you don’t think three young boys who have come forward saying a mayor sexually molested them 30 years ago is not an important issue?” O’Neill asked.

“Well, it is an issue that you guys can talk about, lots of people are talking about it,” McGinn replied. “I want to talk about the future of the city and that’s what I’m trying to bring to the race. If I don’t talk about it, it’s not as if it won’t get talked about.”

The Seattle Times initially reported that a Kent man, referred to as D.H., is suing Mayor Murray for rape, which occurred in the ’80s and that two other Portland men previously made similar allegations. Murray has vehemently denied the allegations and said he will continue to seek re-election to the post, which currently consists of 10 contenders. Murray’s attorney said on April 11 that Murray underwent a physical examination that debunks the claims filed against him.

O’Neill’s co-host Ron Upshaw also attempted to get McGinn to comment on the abuse claims, asking: if even one of the sex abuse allegations is true, do we want an alleged child molester running the city?

“That’s the role you guys can play, or other people can play and I know they will play it,” McGinn answered. “I want to focus on what are the policies that matter because the city’s moving forward, and that’s how I’m gonna choose to conduct the campaign.”

Ron and Don on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Eric Mandel

Eric Mandel joined MyNorthwest.com and 710 ESPN Seattle in August of 2015 after almost a decade of reporting at daily and non-daily newspapers in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Washington. Email Eric at emandel@mynorthwest.com

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