A rumor is circulating that after a poll gauging voters' views on the mayor's race, Seattle mayor Ed Murray could announce he's not running for reelection this week—and that if Murray were to drop out, council president Bruce Harrell would run.
It's all rumor at this point; King 5 reported Sunday that two sources from "Murray's inner circle" said he could announce his pulling out this week, but Murray's campaign denied those plans. "Lots of rumors out there. Can't comment on any of them," Murray's spokesperson Jeff Reading said by email on Sunday.
Two sources told PubliCola that they believe another high-profile candidate, possibly on the council—one named Harrell specifically—would join the race only if Murray were to drop out. Harrell is one of five council members who endorsed Murray, and he ran for mayor in 2013. (Others are Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Lorena Gonzalez, and Debora Juarez.)
On April 6, the same day of the lawsuit, the Rental Housing Association PAC paid the Seattle Chamber's Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy $2,500 for candidate polling, according to a disclosure report filed with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission Thursday.
The Stranger reported the poll asked about five other potential challengers, including Gonzalez. She is up for reelection this year in a race she's expected to win. If Gonzalez were to run for mayor, she'd risk losing her council seat; Harrell, on the other hand, could run for mayor but keep his position on the council if he lost.