HRC endorses Ed Murray for mayor
 

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posted Friday, March 1, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 9

HRC endorses Ed Murray for mayor
National group rarely gets involved in local politics

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In a surprise move, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced on February 28 that it was endorsing Washington state Sen. Ed Murray for mayor of Seattle.

'This is a good day for us,' Murray campaign consultant Sandeep Kaushik told SGN by phone. 'This is a really big deal!'

HRC, which typically does not get involved in local races, has 1.5 million members nationally and some 65,000 in Washington state.

'Ed as an individual is so unique,' Lacey All, a member of HRC's national board of directors, told SGN. 'He has such a long history of changing politics, not just here [in Washington] but nationally. We thought it was important to acknowledge that work.'

'It's boots on the ground, volunteers,' Kaushik said, explaining the significance of HRC support. Kaushik added that once Murray is legally able to begin fundraising again - which he is prohibited from doing while the legislature is in session - it may be a financial base as well.

'I suspect that as we get into springtime, many of our members will want to get involved,' All said. 'The best is still ahead!'

'EXCEPTIONAL DEDICATION'
In its endorsement statement, HRC was effusive in its praise for Murray.

'State Senator Ed Murray has changed the national landscape for LGBT equality by demonstrating exceptional dedication over his more than 15 years in public office in fighting for equality for all Washingtonians,' HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

'He has shown unwavering commitment to taking on - and winning - the tough fights that are paramount to our community, including successfully building bipartisan support for Washington state's historic marriage equality legislation in 2012 and then playing a major leadership role in the successful effort to approve Referendum 74, which upheld that law.

'It is rare for us to get involved in a local race, but we know Ed Murray as a national leader on LGBT issues, and that is why we endorse him with great enthusiasm.'

Griffin added that Murray's leadership extended far beyond the arena of civil rights.

'Senator Murray is a champion for Seattle and time and again has demonstrated his leadership skills in making progress on difficult issues like improving education, strengthening environmental protections, funding critical transit and transportation improvements, and writing budgets in tough economic times that still protect the poor and vulnerable,' Griffin said.

MURRAY PRAISES HRC
For his part, Murray said he was 'honored' to get HRC's endorsement.

'I know first-hand from our recent R-74 marriage equality victory how active and engaged HRC members are, and I believe their support will make a huge difference in powering my campaign to victory in August and November,' he said.

In addition to HRC, the LGBT Victory Fund and ERW have endorsed Murray's campaign. The only other local race HRC has gotten involved in this year is Lesbian Christine Quinn's campaign for mayor of New York City.



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