In an emotional speech with a crowd of tearful supporters behind him—at Alki Beach in West Seattle, his "favorite place on this planet"—Seattle mayor Ed Murray announced the end of his reelection bid Monday morning.
Murray will finish his term this year and say goodbye to his "lifelong love" of politics. He said while he's proud of what he accomplished during his term, "my heart aches."
"It tears me to pieces to step away, but I believe it is in the best interest of the city that I love," Murray said Monday at the Alki Beach Bathhouse.
Murray rattled off a list of policies he had been involved in during his time as both a state legislator and mayor—including transportation projects from the SR 520 Bridge to the Alaskan Way Viaduct; civil rights legislation for the LGBTQ community and overturning the Defense of Marriage Act; and the minimum wage. But he said the mayor's race would be focused on a scandal if he were to stay.
"I'm happy because I have been part of some remarkable achievements that during my entire life I was told would never happen, from the civil rights bill to the ring that I wear on my finger," Murray said. "I am more than happy to reflect on all that we have accomplished together during this term. But this campaign for mayor, any campaign for mayor, must be about the future of the city."
Murray's campaign has been clouded since a 46-year-old man sued Murray last month on grounds of child rape. Word that Murray would drop out of the mayoral race began spreading over the weekend, but publicly Murray until now insisted he will continue to run.
Murray on Monday continued to deny the claims. He said the allegations were "hurting this city" and those close to him. Murray thanked his husband, Michael Shiosaki, for his support and praised him for his "grace and calm and humor."
"The allegations against me paint me in the worst possible historic portraits of a gay man," Murray said. "The allegations against me are not true, and I say this with all honesty and with the deepest sincerity. But the scandal surrounding them and me is hurting this city. It hurts those who have been victims of abuse, it hurts my family, it hurts Michael."