A Review of Seattle's Craziest Year in Politics
Politics in Seattle this year began with a simple message: This city will embody resistance against newly elected President Donald Trump. Newly elected state legislators Nicole Macri, who's lesbian, and Rebecca Saldana, then the only woman of color in the state Senate, began their legislative sessions; U.S. representative Pramila Jayapal, OneAmerica founder and immigrant, became Seattle's newest congresswoman.
No one was expecting that in April, that resistance would be clouded by sexual abuse allegations against progressive Seattle mayor Ed Murray. A lawsuit filed on April 6, 2017, alleged Murray sexually abused Delvonn Heckard in the 1980s starting when Heckard was 15 years old.
What followed was months of an unstable, transforming Seattle leadership. The accusations made national headlines and left conservatives on social media to point to liberal Seattle as an example of hypocrisy. It wasn't until The Seattle Times reported a fifth accuser, Murray's cousin, in September that the mayor resigned. Over the course of the year, the city had four mayors and three city council members holding the at-large Position 8 seat.
The silver lining? Murray's lost bid for re-election left an open space for a woman in the executive seat for the first time in 89 years. Jenny Durkan became Seattle's second female mayor and first lesbian mayor in history. The top four candidates in the August primary were women.
Following Trump's election, even more women, people of color, LGBTQ candidates, and immigrants ran for elected office. Mexican American labor leader Teresa Mosqueda took over Tim Burgess's seat, and Indian Sikh immigrant Manka Dhingra became state senator for the 45th Legislative District.
Here's a timeline of Seattle's major political events this year. (You can click through the events using arrows on the left and right; zoom in to make the timeline larger on the left.)