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posted Friday, March 17, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 11
Ed Murray gets a new endorsement and a new opponent
Section One
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Ed Murray gets a new endorsement and a new opponent

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray got a new endorsement in his bid for re-election and a new opponent, both on March 10.

Murray was endorsed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, perhaps his highest-profile backer to date.

'I am proud to support Mayor Murray's campaign for re-election,' Ferguson said in a statement.

'With the Trump administration threatening our immigrant and refugee families and our transgender students, it is critical that we have local leaders in our cities like Mayor Murray. He has shown he will not be intimidated by the administration's tactics. Just as Mayor Murray stands with the people of Seattle, I stand with him.'

Other big names who have endorsed Murray include former Gov. Christine Gregoire and former Labor Secretary and current DNC Chair Tom Perez.

Also jumping on board the Murray bandwagon were United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) 21, with 45,000 members; Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199NW, representing more than 29,000 nurses and health care workers in the state; and International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 27, representing Seattle's firefighters and emergency responders.

On the other hand, Murray also drew his highest-profile opponent to date, when activist Nikkita Oliver announced she would run against him.

Oliver, an attorney, community organizer, and spoken-word artist, has been active in Seattle's Black Lives Matter movement, opposing the building of a new youth jail, and organizing in the Rainier Beach neighborhood.

Oliver even created her own political party - the Peoples Party of Seattle - to offer voters a 'community-centered grassroots political party led by and accountable to the people most requiring access and equity,' she says on her website.

The election of Donald Trump made her want to jump into the mayoral race, she explained. 'I didn't want to stand in a place of powerlessness.'

Although Oliver is only one of seven candidates running against Murray, she is the only one who has the experience and citywide name recognition to be able to give the mayor a run for his money.

While Oliver is not likely to match Murray's fundraising, she has the background to attract the kind of grassroots volunteers who propelled City Councilmember Kshama Sawant into office. Sawant has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race, but Oliver says she has talked with Sawant about her campaign.

Murray has more than $155,000 in the bank, having already spent an additional $150,000 on his campaign so far. Only bike and pedestrian advocate Andres Salomon has posted campaign donations so far - a meager $3,686.

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Ed Murray gets a new endorsement and a new opponent
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