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.”
Alki by and by pic.twitter.com/qq8mDTTDG3
— jseattle (@jseattle) May 9, 2017
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.