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Seattle council candidate drops out after report of 2015 assault surfaces

Seattle City Hall. (AP file photo)

Seattle City Council candidate Mike McQuaid has withdrawn from the running for the city’s at-large position, following the surfacing of a report from The Seattle Times detailing assault and harassment charges he faced in 2015.

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According to the report, McQuaid “was upset with some landscaping work, part of a construction project outside his Westlake condo.” Things proceeded to get heated between him and the man working on the project on-site. McQuaid threatened to head-butt the man, and then while wielding a gas-powered chop saw, threatened to cut the man’s head off.

When he couldn’t get the chop saw to start, McQuaid picked up a rock and threw it at the man, hitting him in the back. He alleged that he “felt threatened” and that the man was trespassing. McQuaid later agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement and served a year of probation, as well as 24 hours on a work crew.

Additional court records reported on by KUOW show that McQuaid also pleaded guilty to assault in 1997, and was sentenced to community service. In 2000, he was dismissed from a job at Business Wire “for insubordination and cursing at a manager,” where, according to court filings, he allegedly told a female coworker he was “not going to let a woman tell me how to run my business,” after she asked him to shut his office door.

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In February 2021, he announced that he would be running for Seattle City Council, challenging incumbent Teresa Mosqueda for the first of two at-large positions. McQuaid is a South Lake Union neighborhood activist, and runs a public affairs firm.

Just days after the Seattle Times’ report on his 2015 assault was published, his status on the Seattle Ethic and Elections Commission campaign page had been changed to “withdrawn,” and his campaign website had been taken down. That now leaves Mosqueda as the lone candidate running for Council Position 8.

Seven candidates are currently running to fill exiting Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez’s at-large position, while 11 candidates (including Gonzalez) have filed to run for the vacant mayor’s seat.

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