Murray drops reelection bid amid sex abuse scandal

Murray at 2017’s AIDS Walk. Sources say the mayor won’t seek reelection (Image: CHS)

A sex abuse scandal will bring down Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s administration and seems likely to put an end to his more than 20-year political career.

Multiple sources are reporting that a morning meeting at City Hall informed insiders that Murray will finish his term as Seattle mayor but will not continue his run for reelection as he battles a lawsuit over allegations he sexually abused a teen in the 1980s. Murray called for a press conference Tuesday morning at Alki Beach, “the site of the landing of the first white settlers in Seattle on a cold, stormy day in November of 1851.”

UPDATE 10:52 AM: An emotional Murray announced his decision in West Seattle saying it was time to look to the city’s future. “The scandal surrounding them is hurting me and this city,” Murray said in the address.

The decades-old scandal involving Murray in his 30s as a young, Capitol Hill apartment resident, began unfolding this spring in a lawsuit brought against Murray by a victim who alleged the future mayor plied him with drugs and paid for sex with the teen he met on a neighborhood bus. Murray, now 61, denied the allegations and accused the victim and lawyer Lincoln C. Beauregard of being part of a political conspiracy attacking the city’s first openly gay mayor. Despite his deep roots in the state’s Democratic establishment, support for Murray in the face of the allegations was mostly quiet as the mayor’s reelection campaign raised concerns over its attacks on the alleged victim’s character. Meanwhile, calls for the powerful mayor to step down were few and far between.

After 18 years serving in the legislature in Olympia, Murray cruised to easy victory in November 2013, becoming Seattle’s mayor over incumbent Mike McGinn thanks in part to strong support on his home turf in the Capitol Hill neighborhood where the champion of LGBTQ civil rights has made his home since the ’80s. In past conversations, Murray has told CHS about his time as a tenant on Capitol Hill where he said he rented for 15 years before buying his North Capitol Hill home where he lives today with spouse Michael Shiosaki.

McGinn has joined a scramble of candidates who have entered the now incumbent-less race to replace Murray. While some like social equity and civil rights activist Nikkita Oliver stepped forward before the abuse scandal unfolded, other more establishment players like State Senator Bob Hasegawa are expected to jump in with Murray stepping aside.

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11 thoughts on “Murray drops reelection bid amid sex abuse scandal

  1. Being hounded from seeking a second term by unproven allegations is shameful. Seattle took a giant step backward today.

  2. Paying homeless teens to suck your di$k is shameful.
    Even worse, he used his position of power to attempt discrediting his victims by attacking their character. This is a hallmark of a narcissist. Murray is a perverted narcissist.

    • He is not “allegedly” a narcissist, martyr, self-righteous, paranoid, delusional individual. He is all of those things and more. He has never stood up to deny each and every allegation and answer any/all questions about his past. He only gets huffy, bloviates about being gay, deflects, brags about his accomplishments and lies about his net worth. He is not someone to emulate when facing life’s adversity. Good riddance but he should have resigned.

  3. I don’t know if Murray is guilty of the abuse or not, but at any rate I’m glad he will not continue as Mayor beyond this year. His pro-developer policies are a big negative for our city and will have lasting consequences for our quality of life. And his tendency to frequently increase property taxes via his levy proposals have worn thin.

    • Personally, I’m thrilled to see Murray disappear before he jacks up my property taxes further with little tangible outcome to show for it.

      As someone who wants a walkable, bikeable city (and finally have given up waiting – moving to NYC next month) — Mayor Murray was all rhetoric, high taxes, and no action. From what I’ve seen, I think he hires ineffectual people and doesn’t hold them accountable for results.

      But it’s concerning to see him depart based on unproven accusations (or, rather, accusations that have been actively disproven when tested) rooted in the homophobic narrative that gay men are pedophiles.

      It’ll be more concerning if we get a socialist mayor who tries to turn Seattle into SF 2.0: with Venezuela-style market regulation policies that destroy housing construction, tax wealthy citizens out of the city limits (esp. with light rail making it easier than ever to live in Bellevue in a few years), and perverting housing affordability into a union tenure system (rent control).

      Very interested in seeing what Seattle becomes, and whether I’d want to move back to it 5-10 years from now.

    • I concur Eli. I think he was innuendo-ed and smeared out of office, without any solid proof and by accusers who were maybe telling the truth, maybe lying– but at least arguably questionable. But OTOH, I wasn’t going to vote for him anyway. Still, this isn’t how he should’ve been booted from office. It should’ve been from his shitty record.

    • Jim I agree with you. The problem is, most pundits seem to agree that Murray would have been re-elected. We sure don’t need 4 more years of his inept management and tendency to propose new taxes at every opportunity.

    • I won’t miss him as mayor (hope I don’t have to eat those words). I just think an unproven potentially smear campaign is a crappy reason to not be reelected.