Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he intends to remain Mayor and run for re-election, one day after reports surfaced of sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1980s.
“These allegations dating back to a period of more than 30 years are simply not true,” said Murray at a news conference on Friday.
“Things have not come easy to me in life; I have never backed down, and I will not back down now,” said Murray. “I will continue to be mayor to this city I will continue to run for re-election, and I plan to lead this city as we work our way through the wind and rainstorm of this weekend and as well as the many challenges we face going forward.”
If the Mayor had announced a resignation, the current Council President Bruce Harrell would be first in line to serve as acting Mayor, according to the Seattle city charter.
However, the Mayor has said he will serve the remainder of his term and will continue his re-election bid. Currently, he's the only big, known name in the race, and he's way ahead in money raised, among the eight candidates who have filed so far.
The Mayor has raised over $300,000, as of the last filing deadline, with more than $155,000 cash on hand.
He's also racked up a number of endorsements from labor groups and current elected officials, including the Governor. None of the big names who have endorsed have commented on the allegations so far. Nor has any member of the Seattle City Council.
The filing deadline for the mayoral race is the week of May 15, so it’s possible a number of additional people jump in the race. While only allegations, the news this week could be a political game changer for the Mayor who faces the potential for a long legal battle ahead.
A partner with Moxie Media released a statement late this week indicating they’ve been working with a potential candidate for months who is expected to make a decision in the next couple of weeks.
“As everyone is reeling from the news of these awful accusations against Murray, thought you should know that we’ve been working with a viable, resourced potential challenger for a couple of months now,” wrote Moxie Media. “Our firm has been leading the process to help this potential candidate examine whether it would be in the best interests of the city to run against Murray. Again, she has not yet made a decision, but this development may push up her decision making timeline.”
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