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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 48
SGN endorses State Senator Ed Murray's 2013 campaign for Mayor
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SGN endorses State Senator Ed Murray's 2013 campaign for Mayor

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Washington State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) announced December 6 the formation of an exploratory committee to look into the possibility of being elected Seattle's next mayor. If Murray decides to go for it, he would challenge the current mayor, Mike McGinn, in 2013 - presuming McGinn runs for re-election, as he has strongly hinted he will do.

Seattle Gay News officially endorsed the Ed Murray for Mayor campaign December 6.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill, Murray told a crowd of cheering supporters he is running not to make history by becoming the first Gay mayor of Seattle. Instead, he insisted, he is running to 'get things accomplished.'

'I'm not going to sit here and tease people. I'm not going to play that game. It's my intention to run,' he told reporters.

Last week Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess threw his hat into the ring, becoming the first high-profile candidate to announce he will run for mayor.

Murray, whose been rumored as a possible mayoral candidate for years, has represented Washington's 43rd Legislative District, based in Seattle, since 1995 - serving first in the House and now in the Senate.

MARRIAGE RIGHTS CHAMPION
He's got some definite pluses going in: He's easily the most experienced politician yet to consider the 2013 Seattle mayor's race, and he will surely get a boost from the recent voter approval of same-sex marriage - a cause he has championed ever since he entered politics, and which has given him national stature as a civil-rights leader.

According to the Seattle Times, he started his career as an aide to Seattle City Councilmember Martha Choe, served as chair of both the state House Transportation Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and has earned a reputation for working across the aisle.

He and his longtime partner, Michael Shiosaki, live on Capitol Hill, Seattle's cultural and historical LGBT neighborhood.

Before formally becoming a candidate, Murray told supporters, he would have to corral more support in Seattle and lead the Senate Democratic caucus through the next legislative session. As a state senator, he faces some constraints in campaigning.

State law freezes fundraising for state lawmakers 30 days before the legislative session starts, and the ban lasts until they conclude business. What that means for Murray is that he can reach out during the next few months to neighborhood groups as well as business and civic leaders to gauge support, but he cannot raise money.

'Do I think a good number of people will come and help and support? Yes, but man, I cannot take it for granted,' Murray said. '[Tim] Burgess is a solid council member. [Mike] McGinn is the last person I would write off. This is the guy who defeated an incumbent mayor. I have some work to do before I can have a full campaign for mayor.'

PLEDGES POLICE REFORM
Murray has an extensive agenda if he runs for election and wins. His top priority is reforming the city's police department.

'We need to support our police officers but we also need to move this police department forward beyond these problems,' he said referring to the U.S. Department of Justice's oversight of the Seattle Police Department.

'We've got great cops, but we have a problem at the top in terms of leadership. This is not a functional department, and the issue of leadership rests entirely - unlike any other part of city government - with the mayor. I'd like to get a handle on that.'

For more information about the campaign, or to make a donation, go to the Ed Murray for Mayor official website, www.edmurrayforseattle.org.

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SGN endorses State Senator Ed Murray's 2013 campaign for Mayor
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