Afternoon Jolt

Friday Jolt: Burgess Withdraws from Mayor's Race

After firing his campaign spokesman and failing to file for office, city council member Tim Burgess decides to withdraw from the mayor's race.

By Erica C. Barnett May 17, 2013


Afternoon Jolt

Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess made it official this afternoon: He isn't running for mayor. 

As we reported earlier today (in a Cola "Isn't it Weird That"), Burgess was the only declared candidate who did not file to run at King County Elections. The filing deadline is this afternoon at 4:30 pm.

Yesterday, as we also were first to report, Burgess abruptly fired his campaign spokesman, Alex Fryer.

In a statement, Burgess said, "Our city needs new and visionary leadership in the Mayor's office that truly brings people together to accomplish great things for all of Seattle. I had hoped to provide that leadership as Mayor. ... However, with so many qualified candidates in the field, my continued candidacy may dilute the chance of achieving hte positive change Seattle needs." 


As a mayoral candidate, Burgess started off strong but struggled to come up with a strong message. And one of his main campaign pledges—to fire police chief John Diaz in the wake of police accountability problems that resulted in a DOJ consent decree—was thwarted when Diaz announced his retirement last month.  

Still unclear: What Burgess will do with what's left of the $231,979 he raised for his mayoral race, and what impact the decision to abandon the mayor's race will have on his future in Seattle politics. (His announcement says he will return as many as contributions as possible.) And it's unclear who Burgess—who has not returned calls for comment—will endorse for mayor, although our bets are on his council colleague Bruce Harrell or state Sen. Ed Murray.

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