Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who not long
ago was seen as a shoo-in for re-election, on Tuesday ended his
campaign for a second term.
While maintaining his innocence, Murray
pointed to allegations that he sexually abused several men when they
were teenagers in 1980s as his reason for ending his campaign.
“It tears me to pieces to step away,”
Murray, 62, told reporters. “But I believe it is in the best
interest of this city that I love.”
With his husband Michael Shiosaki by
his side, Murray said that a campaign should focus on the issues of
how to make Seattle a better, more affordable city.
“The mayor's race must be focused on
these issues, not on a scandal, which it would be focused on, if I
were to remain in,” he said.
“[The scandal] hurts those who have
been victims of abuse. It hurts my family. It hurts Michael,”
Murray, who refused to take questions
from reporters, added that he would serve the remainder of his term.
Delvonn Heckard, a 46-year-old gay man,
said in his lawsuit filed last month that Murray sexually abused him
as a teenager. Three additional men came forward to make similar
allegations. All four men have “histories of drug use and serious
criminal records,” the
reported, and Murray has denied their claims.
Murray served two decades in the
Washington State Legislature before being elected mayor in 2014.