OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The new Democratic leader in the Washington state Senate now intends to run for Seattle mayor.

Sen. Ed Murray said Wednesday that he is establishing an exploratory committee and will work in the coming months to build the foundation for a campaign.

Because of rules for state lawmakers, Murray can only raise money until Dec. 15. After that, he has to wait until the end of next year's Legislative session.

Ed has $40,000 in his legislative account, said campaign coordinator Sandeep Kaushik. He can transfer that to a mayoral race but he needs the donors approval, which will likely come.

Murray said he is focused on his duties in the state Senate, where Democrats have chosen him to be their new leader. He says he may not be able to run for mayor if the coming session goes too long, perhaps into the summer months.

Murray expects it could be a crowded field in the mayor's race. Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess has already entered the race to unseat Mayor Mike McGinn.

KING 5's Linda Brill contributed to this report.

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