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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 21, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 51
The race is on! - Ed Murray kick-starts his 2013 mayoral campaign with massive fundraising
Section One
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The race is on! - Ed Murray kick-starts his 2013 mayoral campaign with massive fundraising

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

State Senator Ed Murray, who announced his intention to run for mayor of Seattle on December 5, has jumped out to an early lead in fundraising.

As a sitting senator, Murray may not raise money while the state legislature is in session, but he managed to bring in a whopping $122,776 in the nine days before the prescribed deadline to suspend his fundraising efforts.

'The overwhelming surge of support over the last few days from across Seattle has exceeded even my wildest expectations, and proves that the people of this city want a mayor who has a track record of experienced leadership and who knows how to unite this diverse city behind a common vision,' Murray said in a statement.

'I want to thank the hundreds of people who have already stepped forward to back this campaign with their generous contributions. I am both grateful and humbled by the vote of confidence they have placed in me.'

A CROWDED FIELD
According to a December 17 announcement from Murray's campaign, more than $107,000 of the total is new money donated by more than 480 supporters.

An additional $15,643 came from previous contributions to Murray's legislative campaign account, which has been transferred to his mayoral campaign with the permission of the donors.

'After the transfers,' his campaign notes, 'Murray's legislative account still contains more than $30,000 that could potentially be transferred after the fundraising freeze is lifted at the close of the upcoming legislative session, which is slated to run through late April.'

Murray now leads in fundraising in what is shaping up to be a crowded field of mayoral candidates.

Incumbent Mike McGinn reported raising roughly $95,000 at the end of November, real-estate broker Charlie Staadecker reported $58,000, and City Council member Tim Burgess reported $26,000. Newly declared candidates Kate Martin and Peter Steinbrueck have not yet reported fundraising figures.

BROAD-BASED SUPPORT
Murray campaign consultant Sandeep Kaushik told SGN that contributions came in from 'all over the greater Seattle area,' and not just from Murray's base in the 43rd Legislative District and the LGBT community.

'Folks know the work Ed has done fighting for civil rights for all these years,' Kaushik said.

'It's a crowded field. All [the candidates] have their specific areas of appeal, but Ed cuts across the fault lines in Seattle politics.'

At least while the legislature is in session and Murray can't raise additional money, the campaign will be 'lean,' Kaushik says, and then will ramp back up in the spring.

'It was our intention to raise seed money to get the campaign off the ground,' he said, a goal which has now been accomplished.

'Now the infrastructure is there. We're confident we can run a really strong grassroots campaign, one that can win votes one vote at a time. One thing Ed has learned - and Cal [Anderson] used to say this, too - you have to go out and ask people for their support.'

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