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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 21, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 16
Suddenly it's a race:
Mike McGinn and Cary Moon challenge Ed Murray for mayor
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Suddenly it's a race:
Mike McGinn and Cary Moon challenge Ed Murray for mayor

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A month ago, it looked like Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was strolling toward re-election in November. Now, in the wake of allegations that Murray paid for sex with a teenage boy 30 years ago, it looks like a race.

On April 18 Murray's 2013 opponent, Mike McGinn, jumped into the race. The next day, Cary Moon - urban planner, business heir, and anti-tunnel activist - declared her candidacy.

In a front yard press conference announcing his run, McGinn all but admitted that he entered the race hoping to take advantage of the allegations against Murray.

'Any candidate looks at the lay of the land,' McGinn said. 'I'm really trying to avoid talking about the mayor's legal troubles. Of course I looked at the lay of the land.'

McGinn was mayor for one term before being defeated by Murray in 2013.

'I think I can do a better job than Ed,' he claimed, citing rising housing costs that drive middle- and lower-income people out of Seattle.

In a statement responding to McGinn's announcement, Murray recited a catalog of his predecessor's failures.

'The last four years of Mayor Murray's leadership stand in sharp contrast to the previous administration, when Mike McGinn was mayor,' Murray's statement said.

'Mike McGinn's divisive and confrontational style led to years of paralysis, dysfunction, and infighting at City Hall. As mayor, Mike McGinn picked fights with everyone under the sun. He attacked our Democratic governor, calling her a liar. He fought the Obama Dept. of Justice on police reform. He fought with our US attorney. He fought with our city attorney. He fought with the City Council.

'As mayor, Mike McGinn led a flawed and failed search for a new police chief. Mayor Murray, on the other hand, led a widely praised search effort that led to the appointment of Chief O'Toole. As mayor, Mike McGinn created an affordable housing task force that led nowhere and produced nothing. Mayor Murray created an affordable housing task force that led to a Grand Bargain that is creating thousands of additional affordable units across Seattle. As mayor, Mike McGinn proposed a ballot measure to fund transit that the voters rejected. Mayor Murray, by contrast, has passed major ballot measures to expand funding for transit, transportation, affordable housing, parks, and quality pre-K.'

Moon turned out to be the 'credible' and 'resourced' mystery candidate that consulting firm Moxie Media had been teasing voters with for the past week.

Originally a McGinn ally in the fight against the deep-bore waterfront tunnel, Moon said she believed she would make a better mayor than McGinn.

'I like him. He's a friend,' she told The Stranger's Eli Sanders in an interview conducted before the public rollout of her campaign and embargoed until April 19. 'I think we have different approaches and different styles of leadership.'

'I am committed to listening,' she explained, 'to building shared commitment to vision, and sharing power and collaborating with partners, because that's the way to achieve transformative change.'

Heir to a Michigan-based manufacturing business and owner of an upscale condo behind the Pike Place Market, Moon has the advantage of being able to self-fund her campaign - a huge advantage against Murray's fundraising machine. According to disclosure documents, Murray has raised almost $375,000.

Nevertheless, Moon told Sanders that she will 'fundraise like hell.' She will not take corporate money, she added, but will put her own fortune into the campaign if necessary.

'A campaign for someone like me costs money,' Moon said, admitting that in spite of her record of activism, she is not well known to voters.

Besides Murray, McGinn, and Moon, there are eight others in the mayoral race, but only activists Nikkita Oliver and Andres Salomon seem to be making any impact on potential voters.

Most Seattle City Councilmembers have cooperated with Council President Bruce Harrell's 'cone of silence' approach to the controversy surrounding Murray. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw has expressed confidence in Murray's leadership and Kshama Sawant expressed support for victims of sexual abuse without naming Murray.

Moon has claimed an affinity with City Councilmembers Mike O'Brien and Lisa Herbold. McGinn was noted for his feuds with the City Council.

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