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Ed Murray (Washington politician)

Edward Bernard Patrick Murray (born May 2, 1955) is an American politician from the state of Washington who most recently served as the 53rd mayor of Seattle from 2014 to 2017. A Democrat, he was previously a state legislator, first with the Washington State House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, then the Washington State Senate from 2007 to 2013.

Ed Murray
Ed Murray (19088884778).jpg
53rd Mayor of Seattle
In office
January 1, 2014 – September 13, 2017
Preceded byMichael McGinn
Succeeded byBruce Harrell (Acting)
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 43rd district
In office
January 2007 – December 2013
Preceded byPat Thibaudeau
Succeeded byJamie Pedersen
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
October 1995 – January 2007
Preceded byPat Thibaudeau
Succeeded byJamie Pedersen
Personal details
Edward Bernard Patrick Murray[1]

(1955-05-02) May 2, 1955 (age 63)
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Michael Shiosaki (m. 2013)
ResidenceSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Portland
Murray, November 2014, roasting departing Stranger reporter and editor Dominic Holden

In 2017, Murray faced multiple allegations of child abuse, rape and sexual molestation, including some from family members and children under his care.[2] Murray resigned as mayor of Seattle on September 12, 2017.[3]


Early life and educationEdit

Murray was born in Aberdeen, Washington, to an Irish Catholic family, and is one of seven siblings in his family. He spent much of his childhood in West Seattle's Alki neighborhood, but attended high school at Timberline High School in Lacey, where he served as student body president.[4]

Murray graduated from the University of Portland in 1980; he majored in sociology.[5]

Political careerEdit

Murray began his career doing pretrial work for public defenders in Portland. He then returned to Seattle, becoming a paralegal, and quickly became active in local politics there.[5] He was campaign manager for Cal Anderson, the first openly gay legislator in Washington state, in 1988 before becoming an assistant to City Councilmember Martha Choe.[4][6] Murray later managed a nonprofit focused on gay rights.[4]

Early startEdit

In 1995, Murray, a Democrat, ran to fill the state Senate seat left vacant by the death of Anderson, his mentor. Murray was defeated by state Representative Pat Thibaudeau. However, Murray was then appointed to fill Thibaudeau's vacant state House seat in the 43rd Legislative District. He was re-elected biennially until 2006, when he opted not to run for re-election to the House. The 43rd district, located entirely in Seattle, includes the University District, Montlake, Eastlake, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The district is very progressive and reliably Democratic[citation needed].

In 2006, he announced his intention to challenge Senator Thibaudeau for the 43rd District seat in the State Senate.[7] In May 2006, Thibaudeau dropped out of her race for re-election and Murray was elected to the Senate with little opposition.[8] He took his senate seat in January 2007. In his first session in the senate (2007–08), he was appointed vice chair of the majority caucus and in the 2009–10 session, he served as caucus chair, a post that largely is in charge of budget for the Senate and other housekeeping matters. After having been re-elected unopposed in 2010, Murray was appointed chair of the ways & means committee for 2011–12.

Murray previously served as chair of the house transportation committee.[9] He has also been very active in advancing LGBT rights. He led the push for an anti-discrimination law barring businesses from discriminating against gays and lesbians, a measure that finally passed in 2006 after three decades of debate.[10] He was also the main sponsor of legislation creating domestic partnerships, approved in 2007.[11]

In 2009, Murray was the prime sponsor of a $2.4 billion Washington Senate financing bill authorizing the construction of a deep-bore tunnel underneath Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.[12] Murray consistently advocated in favor of the project, despite well-documented concerns regarding the viability of the project and his financing bill, including language that places responsibility for paying cost overruns with Seattle-area taxpayers.[13] Bertha, the machine drilling the deep-bore tunnel, broke down in December 2013 and did not move in over a year, leading to costly delays and significant challenges such as destabilizing soil conditions under Seattle's historic Pioneer Square and the Viaduct itself.[14] In an article examining the role various elected officials and advocates played to push for the deep-bore tunnel despite a number of engineering and financing concerns, The Stranger wrote that "nobody is more responsible for the deep-bore tunnel than Ed Murray."[15] As of mid-2018, cost overruns on the tunnel project exceed $600 million.[16]

Mayoral careerEdit

Murray speaking in 2016

Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle in the 2013 elections.[17][18] He ran for re-election in 2017, but ended his campaign May 9 following allegations of child sexual abuse. On September 12, 2017, amid more sexual abuse claims, Murray announced his resignation effective the next day.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Murray is of Irish descent.[20] Murray is gay, and came out in 1980.[4] In 2013, he married Michael Shiosaki at St. Mark's in Seattle; the two had had a relationship for 22 years.[21] Murray has not emphasized his sexual orientation during his career, describing himself as "a Democrat who happens to be gay."[5] During his campaign to the Senate, as in many of his previous campaigns, he won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.[22]

Child sexual abuse allegationsEdit

As of September 2017, five people have accused Murray of sexual abuse.[3] In April 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Murray by Delvonn Heckard [23] who claimed that Murray "raped and molested him" when he was a teenager in 1986. The lawsuit alleged Murray paid the then-teenager $10 or $20 in exchange for sexual contact. Heckard says he was a high-school dropout and addicted to crack-cocaine.[24] Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson made similar allegations against Murray in 2007. Additionally, in 1984, Simpson accused Murray of sexual assault while he was still a teenager. He spoke with a social worker and detective at the time; however, no charges were filed.[25]

Mayor Murray's personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, said in a statement that the allegations are false and politically motivated, and that Murray would fight them.[26] Later, Murray's lawyer stated that Murray had undergone a medical examination that disproved a claim that Murray had what was described as "an unusual bump" on his genitals, and that the lawsuit should be dropped.[27]

On July 16, 2017, The Seattle Times revealed that in 1984, an Oregon child welfare investigator determined that Murray had sexually abused his foster son.[28]

On September 12, 2017, Murray's cousin accused him of sexual abuse as a minor. Later that day, Mayor Murray announced his resignation, effective September 13.[29]

After his resignation, Amnesty International asked the Police Service of Northern Ireland to open an investigation into Murray's 1974 trip to Belfast and Wales, which involved chaperoning 30 Catholic and Protestant children.[30]


  1. ^ "Two More Years!". Seattle City Council. January 6, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after fifth child sex-abuse allegation". The Seattle Times. 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  3. ^ a b Grinberg, Emanuella (12 September 2017). "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after latest child sex-abuse allegation". CNN. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d 2013 Seattle mayoral race: Ed Murray, Seattle Times.
  5. ^ a b c Chris Kardish, Ed Murray: One of America's Most Progressive Mayors, Governing (August 2015).
  6. ^ Josh Feit, The Education of Ed Murray, Seattle Met (January 2013).
  7. ^ Garber, Andrew (April 1, 2006). "Ed Murray will leave House, run for Senate". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2006-05-10.
  8. ^ Thomas, Ralph (May 11, 2006). "Thibaudeau drops out of state senate race". Seattle Times.
  9. ^ Hadley, Jane (January 17, 2005). "Reform sought in how state faces transportation issues". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  10. ^ Mcgann, Chris (January 28, 2006). "A long-awaited win for gay rights: Senate OKs state anti-bias bill". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  11. ^ "Washington state lawmakers pass domestic partnership bill giving rights to same-sex couples". International Herald Tribune. April 11, 2007.
  12. ^ [1], SB 5768.
  13. ^ Holden, Dominic. "What Could Possibly Go Wrong". The Stranger.
  14. ^ Lindblom, Mike. "Viaduct sinks an inch as workers dig to repair. Bertha". The Seattle Times.
  15. ^ Holden, Dominic. "Who to blame for Bertha". The Stranger.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Home | Ed Murray for Mayor of Seattle". Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  18. ^ "Murray: 'We're here tonight to declare victory' in mayor's race". Seattle Times. November 5, 2013.
  19. ^ "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray won't seek second term". The Seattle Times. May 10, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  20. ^ Sanders, Eli (26 June 2012). "Seattle's Best Christians: Senator Ed Murray". The Stranger. Seattle, United States.
  21. ^ Connelly, Joel. "Ed Murray-Michael Shiosaki: A 22-year trip to the altar". SeattlePI. Hearst Seattle Media. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Victory Fund endorsements yield 67 winners". The Advocate. November 9, 2006. Archived from the original on October 27, 2008.
  23. ^ "Local News Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's accuser in sex-abuse lawsuit reveals identity: 'I have nothing to hide'". The Seattle Times. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  24. ^ Daniel, DeMay (6 April 2017). "Suit charges sexual abuse by Seattle mayor in 1980s". Seattle PI.
  25. ^ "Lawsuit alleges Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused troubled teen in 1980s". The Seattle Times. 2017-04-06. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  26. ^ Staff, KIRO 7 News (2017-04-06). "Report: Lawsuit alleges Seattle mayor Ed Murray sexually abused drug-addicted teen in 80s". KIRO. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  27. ^ Brunner, Jim and Lewis Kamb (April 11, 2017). "Mayor Ed Murray's lawyer: Medical exam disproves accuser's anatomical claim". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  28. ^ Kamb, Lewis, and Brunner, Jim (July 16, 2017). "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused foster son, child-welfare investigator found in 1984". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  29. ^ "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after fifth child sex-abuse allegation". The Seattle Times. September 12, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  30. ^ Breen, Suzanne (September 14, 2017). "Ed Murray: Sex abuse claim US mayor's time in Northern Ireland 'should be probed'". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved September 14, 2017.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael McGinn
Mayor of Seattle
Succeeded by
Bruce Harrell (acting)