LOCAL NEWS

Seattle mayor says ‘heart aches’ as he drops from race

May 9, 2017, 10:36 AM | Updated: 10:57 am
Murray...
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced he will not run for re-election. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced he will not run for re-election amid abuse claims which he says is distracting from the real issues.

Seattle mayoral candidates

“This campaign for mayor, any campaign for mayor, must be about the future of this city,” he said.

If Murray remained in the race, he says it would be a distraction from the real issues.

Murray currently faces allegations that decades ago he sexually abused four minors. He has vehemently denied the claims, but had not yet filed to seek a second term with the deadline to submit the paperwork one week away. Publicly, until Tuesday, his campaign staff said the one-term mayor would run. But privately, Murray and others were gauging the erosion of the mayor’s popularity before deciding to make another bid.

Murray maintains his innocence and called the allegations against him “not true” as he announced that he would not run for re-election.

“They are not true and I say this with all honesty and the deepest sincerity,” he said.

According to the latest report from Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission, Murray has more than $372,000 in campaign contributions. He has been fundraising since late 2016.

Murray’s announcement likely will trigger a slew of potential candidates stepping into the fray.  Former Mayor Mike McGinn has already announced, as has urban planner Cary Moon and activist and poet Nikita Oliver. Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan likely will announce her candidacy within days and Seattle Democratic Sen. Bob Hasagawa has also expressed an interest, among other candidates.

Four men have accused Murray of sexually abusing them as minors. The latest, Maurice Jones claimed he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard, who has said he was abused by the mayor in the 1980s. Murray has said he has no idea who Delvonn Heckard is and maintains that the man’s name “is not familiar” to him.

As of May, an independent trust has been created to raise money for Murray’s legal defense, The Seattle Times reports. To make sure the fund will not run afoul of regulations, the Pacifica Law Group sent a letter to the city’s ethics and elections commission stating their intent.

We represent the Ed Murray Legal Defense Fund, an independent trust being created to help defray the legal expenses that the Mayor of Seattle, Edward B. Murray, must incur to defend himself in an ongoing civil lawsuit … the mayor, a lifelong public servant, does not have the personal resources needed to fund his own legal defense.

Heckard, 46, is described as an openly gay man with no real political inclinations, which contrasts with the mayor’s claims that the allegations are a part of a right-wing conspiracy because the mayor pushed the LGBTQ civil rights bill.

Jeff Simpson, another one of Murray’s accusers, has stressed that he is not asking for anything other than for the mayor to admit what he did. Murray told KIRO 7 that he was Simpson’s “legal guardian for just under two years.”

Simpson is one of two Portland men who have accused Mayor Murray of sexual abuse while they were minors in the 1980s.

Murray became the mayor of Seattle in January 2014 after 18 years as state legislator representing the 43rd Legislative District. He was the prime sponsor of the state’s marriage equality bill. As mayor, he signed an executive order raising the minimum wage of City employees to $15 an hour.  Most recently, Murray proposed a soda tax and city income tax.

Murray lives in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood with his partner of 24 years, Michael Shiosaki.

MyNorthwest’s Stephanie Klein contributed to this story.

Local News

Federal Way gun buyback...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Federal Way’s gun buyback runs out of gift cards early

Hundreds of unwanted firearms were turned in Saturday in Federal Way’s first ever gun buyback. Owners received a gift card in return.
1 day ago
Frasier...
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
1 day ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
...
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle mayor says ‘heart aches’ as he drops from race