Ed Murray (Washington politician)

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Ed Murray
Ed Murray at SR 520 Floating Bridge Opening - 01 (crop).jpg
53rd Mayor of Seattle
In office
January 1, 2014 – September 13, 2017
Preceded by Michael McGinn
Succeeded by Bruce Harrell (Acting)
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 43rd district
In office
January 2007 – December 2013
Preceded by Pat Thibaudeau
Succeeded by Jamie Pedersen
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
October 1995 – January 2007
Preceded by Pat Thibaudeau
Succeeded by Jamie Pedersen
Personal details
Born Edward Bernard Patrick Murray[1]
(1955-05-02) May 2, 1955 (age 63)
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michael Shiosaki (m. 2013)
Residence Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Website Mayoral homepage
Murray, November 2014, roasting departing Stranger reporter and editor Dominic Holden

Ed Murray (born May 2, 1955) is an American politician who has served as the 53rd mayor of Seattle since 2014. He served in the Washington State Senate from 2007-2013, and before that for 11 years in the Washington State House of Representatives as a Democrat.

Murray announced on September 12, 2017, that he would resign due to allegations that he abused and molested several children in his care during the 1970s and 1980s.[2] The resignation is effective at 5 p.m. PDT on September 13.

Early life and education

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.[3]

Murray graduated from the University of Portland in 1980; he majored in sociology.[4]

Political career

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.[4] 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.[3][5] Murray later managed a nonprofit focused on gay rights.[3]

Early start

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.[3]

After being appointed to the House in October 1995 and was re-elected biennially until he opted not to run for re-election to the House in 2006. 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.[6] In May 2006, Thibaudeau dropped out of her race for re-election and Murray was elected to the Senate with little opposition.[7] 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 chair of the majority caucus. 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.[8] 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.[9] He was also the main sponsor of legislation creating domestic partnerships, approved in 2007.[10]

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 unsafe Alaskan Way Viaduct.[11] Murray has 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.[12] 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.[13] 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."[14]

Mayoral career

Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle in the 2013 elections.[15][16] He ran for re-election in 2017, until May 9th after allegations of child sexual abuse caused him to drop his campaign. On September 12, 2017, amid more sexual abuse claims, Murray announced his resignation effective at 5 P.M. on September 13, 2017. [17]

Personal life

Murray is of Irish descent.[18] Murray is homosexual, and came out in 1980.[3] In 2013, he married Michael Shiosaki at St. Mark's in Seattle; the two had had a relationship for 22 years.[19] Murray has not emphasized his sexual orientation during his career, describing himself as "a Democrat who happens to be gay."[4] During his campaign to the Senate, like many of his previous campaigns, he won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.[20]

Child sexual abuse allegations

As of September 2017, five people have accused Murray of sexual abuse.

The first was Jeff Simpson, his former foster-son, whose accusations made in 1984, are supported by a state administrative finding that Murray committed the alleged abuse. Simpson accused Murray of sexual molesting him from the age of 13 onwards when he was growing up in the Parry Center for Children, in Portland where Murray then worked. He spoke with a social worker and detective at the time; however, no charges were filed. Murray then fostered him so that he could continue the abuse. [21] [22]Records discovered and released to The Times show an Oregon Child Protective Services’ investigator believed Simpson’s allegations that Murray repeatedly sexually abused him after fostering him. The 1984 finding led Oregon’s child-welfare officials to determine Murray should never again be a foster parent in that state. [23] [2] 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.[24]

The next was Delvonn Heckard who lodged a lawsuit against Murray in April 2017, claiming that Murray "raped and molested him" when he was aged 15 in 1986. He went on to have a life of depression and addiction. [25] The lawsuit alleged Murray paid the then-teenager $10 or $20 in exchange for sexual contact. [26] Heckard accepted a pay-off from Murray's lawyers to withdraw the suit. He then committed suicide in 2018. [27]

Lloyd Anderson made similar allegations against Murray in 2007. Simpson, like Anderson, says he met Murray at the Parry Center for Children. Anderson said that in the early ‘80s when Anderson was 17, below Oregon’s age of consent, Murray invited him to dinner at his Portland apartment, saying that Jeff Simpson would be there. It turned out he wasn't there. According to Anderson, Murray provided marijuana and alcohol, then offered Anderson money for oral sex. Anderson claimed that Murray paid him for oral sex “quite a few times,” during these encounters. "I was supposed to perform oral sex, but he was like really vicious about it. It was like hardcore oral sex and so it was, I mean, like pushing my head down and everything, almost violent. I wouldn't say it was violent, but I'd say it was damn close to it."[28]

Mayor Murray's personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, said in a statement that the allegations are false, politically motivated and that Murray would fight them.[29] 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.[30]

On September 12, 2017, Murray's cousin Joseph Dyer accused him of sexual abuse. Dyer said Murray forced him into homosexual activity when Dyer was aged 13 and the two shared a bedroom at Dyer’s mother’s home in Medford, New York, in the mid-1970s. Later that day, Mayor Murray announced his resignation, effective September 13.[31]

Murray never stood trial and retired with a pension of $100,000 per year.

See also


  1. "Two More Years!". Seattle City Council. January 6, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Grinberg, Emanuella (12 September 2017). "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after latest child sex-abuse allegation". CNN. Retrieved 12 September 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 2013 Seattle mayoral race: Ed Murray, Seattle Times.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Chris Kardish, Ed Murray: One of America's Most Progressive Mayors, Governing (August 2015).
  5. Josh Feit, The Education of Ed Murray, Seattle Met (January 2013).
  6. Garber, Andrew (April 1, 2006). "Ed Murray will leave House, run for Senate". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2006-05-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Thomas, Ralph (May 11, 2006). "Thibaudeau drops out of state senate race". Seattle Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Hadley, Jane (January 17, 2005). "Reform sought in how state faces transportation issues". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Mcgann, Chris (January 28, 2006). "A long-awaited win for gay rights: Senate OKs state anti-bias bill". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Washington state lawmakers pass domestic partnership bill giving rights to same-sex couples". International Herald Tribune. April 11, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. [1], SB 5768.
  12. Holden, Dominic. "What Could Possibly Go Wrong". The Stranger.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Lindblom, Mike. "Viaduct sinks an inch as workers dig to repair. Bertha". The Seattle Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Holden, Dominic. "Who to blame for Bertha". The Stranger.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Home | Ed Murray for Mayor of Seattle". Murray4mayor.com. Retrieved December 3, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Murray: 'We're here tonight to declare victory' in mayor's race". Seattle Times. November 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray won't seek second term". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 9th, 2017. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Sanders, Eli (26 June 2012). "Seattle's Best Christians: Senator Ed Murray". The Stranger. Seattle, United States.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Connelly, Joel. "Ed Murray-Michael Shiosaki: A 22-year trip to the altar". SeattlePI. Hearst Seattle Media. Retrieved 11 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Victory Fund endorsements yield 67 winners". The Advocate. November 9, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Lawsuit alleges Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused troubled teen in 1980s". The Seattle Times. 2017-04-06. Retrieved 2017-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-mayor-ed-murray-resigns-after-fifth-child-sex-abuse-allegation/?fbclid=IwAR3SU1V6Rj7G2PBPQMmO1sTe8_1hc4UG0t6lO6EaINaiFdPP7cfIkmS52q0
  23. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/former-foster-son-of-ex-mayor-ed-murray-files-claim-against-seattle-claiming-defamation/
  24. 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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Daniel, DeMay (6 April 2017). "Suit charges sexual abuse by Seattle mayor in 1980s". Seattle PI. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/man-who-accused-ed-murray-of-sexual-abuse-found-dead-in-auburn-motel/
  28. https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/04/21/25094319/murrays-other-2008-accuser-i-want-him-to-resign
  29. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after fifth child sex-abuse allegation". The Seattle Times. September 12, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael McGinn
Mayor of Seattle