Ed Murray (Washington politician)
|53rd Mayor of Seattle|
January 1, 2014 – September 13, 2017
|Preceded by||Michael McGinn|
|Succeeded by||Bruce Harrell (Acting)|
|Member of the Washington Senate
from the 43rd district
January 2007 – December 2013
|Preceded by||Pat Thibaudeau|
|Succeeded by||Jamie Pedersen|
|Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
October 1995 – January 2007
|Preceded by||Pat Thibaudeau|
|Succeeded by||Jamie Pedersen|
|Born||Edward Bernard Patrick Murray
May 2, 1955
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Michael Shiosaki (m. 2013)|
|Residence||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
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. 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.
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. 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. Murray later managed a nonprofit focused on gay rights.
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.
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.
In 2006, he announced his intention to challenge Senator Thibaudeau for the 43rd District seat in the State Senate. In May 2006, Thibaudeau dropped out of her race for re-election and Murray was elected to the Senate with little opposition. 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. 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. He was also the main sponsor of legislation creating domestic partnerships, approved in 2007.
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. 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. 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. 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."
Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle in the 2013 elections. 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. 
Murray is of Irish descent. Murray is homosexual, and came out in 1980. In 2013, he married Michael Shiosaki at St. Mark's in Seattle; the two had had a relationship for 22 years. Murray has not emphasized his sexual orientation during his career, describing himself as "a Democrat who happens to be gay." During his campaign to the Senate, like many of his previous campaigns, he won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
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.  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.   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.
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.  The lawsuit alleged Murray paid the then-teenager $10 or $20 in exchange for sexual contact.  Heckard accepted a pay-off from Murray's lawyers to withdraw the suit. He then committed suicide in 2018. 
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."
Mayor Murray's personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, said in a statement that the allegations are false, politically motivated and that Murray would fight them. 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.
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.
Murray never stood trial and retired with a pension of $100,000 per year.
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|Mayor of Seattle