Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday morning he will serve out the remainder of his term, but will not be running for re-election as he fights 30-year-old allegations of sexual abuse.
Murray, who beat former mayor and current mayoral contender Mike McGinn in 2013, has been on the defensive since the first allegation of sexual abuse was filed by Delvonn Heckard’s attorney in early April. Those allegations are that the mayor paid Heckard for sex during the ‘80s, when he was 15 and the mayor was in his early 30’s.
In denying these claims, Murray went so far as to have his doctor at the Polyclinic provide a report of his genitalia; an effort to prove a claim made by Heckard about a mole was false, therefore making the allegations untrue, his attorney argued.
Since that time, three other accusers have come forward. And since then there have also been many contenders for the mayor’s office to enter the race.
Murray said during a Tuesday news conference at the Alki Beach Bathhouse that Seattle should be focused on issues of affordability, equitability, the homelessness crisis, city growth and livability.
“These are real and urgent and important issues before this city,” Murray said. “The mayor’s race must be focused on these issues, not on a scandal, which it would be focused on if I were to remain in this race.”
The mayor maintained the allegations against him are false.
“But the scandal surrounding them and me is hurting this city,” he said. “It hurts those who have been victims of abuse. It hurts my family. It hurts Michael (Shiosaki).”
Murray thanked Shiosaki, the city’s first gentlemen, then criticized the media for not recognizing his husband’s role better, perhaps because of “stereotypes,” he said.
Murray will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends on Dec. 31.
“I will be just as active as a mayor as I was at the beginning of my term,” he said.
Prior to serving as mayor, Murray spent 11 years in the Washington House of Representatives. He served as senator from 2007-13.
The mayor ended the conference by quoting former politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
“To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart.”