by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray reaffirmed his intention to seek re-election and asked voters for their support in a statement issued April 12.
The same day, the conservative Seattle Times newspaper called for Murray to drop his re-election bid.
Admitting that the charges of child abuse made against him in a lawsuit filed April 6 were 'very painful to me and Michael,' Murray's statement went on to say the accusations were 'simply not true.'
'Without offering any evidence,' Murray continued, 'the accuser has described me in very specific and intimate detail, and his accusation depends on these descriptions being accurate. If this description is inaccurate, the accusation cannot be credible. Yesterday, I provided material evidence refuting the accusation. The accusation should be laid to rest.'
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, identified only as DH, alleges that he had repeated sexual encounters with Murray in exchange for money, beginning when he was only 15 years old. This would be a crime under Washington state law, which fixes the age of consent at 16.
As proof of his charges, DH says in his court filing, he can describe Murray's genitals, which bear an unusual mole, or 'bump' on the scrotum.
On April 11, however, Murray released a report from his doctor, stating categorically that his genitals had no such mole, nor was there any evidence that one had been removed.
Murray's physician, Craig J. Pepin, examined him on April 10 and found 'No dermatological lesions such as a mole, freckle, or keratosis present on the penis or scrotum. No scars or evidence of prior surgery or dermatologic procedures.'
'This is game-changing,' Murray's attorney, Robert Sulkin, said after Murray made the findings public. 'This is the heart of the allegations, and they're false.'
The supposed mole was 'the fingerprints' that linked DH to Murray, Sulkin explained. Absent that evidence, he said, DH could not show that he'd had any relationship with the now-mayor, and his suit was baseless and should be dismissed.
On April 12, Murray went even further, stating categorically he would continue running for re-election, and he asked voters to back him.
'I will continue to lead this city as mayor,' he said. 'I will continue to run for re-election, so that we can sustain and build upon the progress we have made in my first term advancing police reform; raising wages for thousands of Seattleites; addressing our homelessness crisis; building more affordable housing; closing racial disparities in our public schools; supporting black male achievement; battling climate change; creating vibrant, livable neighborhoods for all; standing up to the Trump Administration - and so much more.
'I am proud to be your mayor and ask for your continued support.'
The same day Murray released that statement, the Seattle Times editorial board issued a demand that he withdraw from the race. The charges - even if false - the Times said, could make Murray vulnerable and lead to unintended consequences.
'If he runs under that cloud,' the Times wrote, 'it increases the possibility of a Mayor Kshama Sawant, or some other extreme left-wing ideologue, steering this booming city wildly off course. An open field will draw better mainstream candidates who can build on Murray's work.'
Given that the Times broke the story about DH's charges, their editorial raises the question whether it is looking for another candidate to step up and run against Murray.
Reportedly, Moxie Media, a local political consulting and PR firm, has been in contact with an unnamed woman who is considering announcing her candidacy. While the firm would not reveal her name, it did say she was 'credible' and 'resourced.'
Attorneys for DH, meanwhile, refused to back down from their charges in spite of the new evidence that DH could not describe Murray's genitals at all.
In a statement responding to Murray, one of the lawyers representing DH, Lincoln Beauregard, all but accused Murray of having contracted STIs from cavorting with under-age prostitutes.
There could be many causes for bumps on Murray's genitals, Beauregard said, and 'Those medical causes could include multiple medical complications stemming from having promiscuous sex with multiple child prostitutes. Bumps, warts, and/or moles do not always remain 30 years, depending upon the root cause.'
Beauregard has asked for Murray to agree to be formally deposed on May 2, the mayor's birthday. DH's lawyer has already demanded to depose Murray's spokesperson, Jeff Reading, on April 20.
Beauregard has said that DH is Gay, and that he personally is 'SUPER pro gay rights,' but the principal partner in Beauregard's law firm, Connelly Law Offices, has contributed to anti-LGBT causes.
Lawyer Jack Connelly donated $25,000 to I-1515, the unsuccessful 2016 initiative that would have barred Transgender people from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identities. His wife, Angela, contributed an equal amount in her own name.
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