|53rd Mayor of Seattle|
January 1, 2014 - September 13, 2017
|Bruce Harrell (Acting)|
|Member of the Washington Senate|
from the 43rd district
January 2007 - December 2013
|Member of the Washington House of Representatives|
from the 43rd district
October 1995 - January 2007
Edward Bernard Patrick Murray
May 2, 1955
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Michael Shiosaki (m. 2013)|
|Residence||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Portland|
Edward Bernard Patrick Murray (born May 2, 1955) is an American politician from the state of Washington who most recently served as the 53rd mayor of Seattle from 2014 to 2017. A Democrat, he was previously a state legislator, first with the Washington State House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, then the Washington State Senate from 2007 to 2013.
In 2017, Murray faced multiple allegations of child abuse, rape and sexual molestation, including some from family members and children under his care, all charges he denies. Murray resigned as mayor of Seattle on September 12, 2017.
Murray was born in Aberdeen, Washington, to an Irish Catholic family, and is one of seven siblings in his family. He spent much of his childhood in West Seattle's Alki neighborhood, but attended high school at Timberline High School in Lacey, where he served as student body president.
Murray began his career doing pretrial work for public defenders in Portland. He then returned to Seattle, becoming a paralegal, and quickly became active in local politics there. He was campaign manager for Cal Anderson, the first openly gay legislator in Washington state, in 1988 before becoming an assistant to City Councilmember Martha Choe. Murray later managed a nonprofit focused on gay rights.
In 1995, Murray, a Democrat, ran to fill the state Senate seat left vacant by the death of Anderson, his mentor. Murray was defeated by state Representative Pat Thibaudeau. However, Murray was then appointed to fill Thibaudeau's vacant state House seat in the 43rd Legislative District. He was re-elected biennially until 2006, when he opted not to run for re-election to the House. The 43rd district, located entirely in Seattle, includes the University District, Montlake, Eastlake, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The district is very progressive and reliably Democratic.
In 2006, he announced his intention to challenge Senator Thibaudeau for the 43rd District seat in the State Senate. In May 2006, Thibaudeau dropped out of her race for re-election and Murray was elected to the Senate with little opposition. He took his senate seat in January 2007. In his first session in the senate (2007-08), he was appointed vice chair of the majority caucus and in the 2009-10 session, he served as caucus chair, a post that largely is in charge of budget for the Senate and other housekeeping matters. After having been re-elected unopposed in 2010, Murray was appointed chair of the ways & means committee for 2011-12.
Murray previously served as chair of the house transportation committee. He has also been very active in advancing LGBT rights. He led the push for an anti-discrimination law barring businesses from discriminating against gays and lesbians, a measure that finally passed in 2006 after three decades of debate. He was also the main sponsor of legislation creating domestic partnerships, approved in 2007.
In 2009, Murray was the prime sponsor of a $2.4 billion Washington Senate financing bill authorizing the construction of a deep-bore tunnel underneath Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Murray advocated for the project, which attracted well-documented concerns. Bertha, the machine drilling the deep-bore tunnel, broke down in December 2013, leading to costly delays and significant challenges such as destabilizing soil conditions under Seattle's historic Pioneer Square and the Viaduct itself. As of mid-2018, cost overruns on the tunnel project exceed $600 million.
Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle in the 2013 elections. He ran for re-election in 2017, but ended his campaign May 9 following allegations of child sexual abuse. On September 12, 2017, amid more sexual abuse claims, Murray announced his resignation effective the next day.
Murray is of Irish descent. Murray is gay, and came out in 1980. In 2013, he married Michael Shiosaki at St. Mark's in Seattle; the two had had a relationship for 22 years. Murray has not emphasized his sexual orientation during his career, describing himself as "a Democrat who happens to be gay." During his campaign to the Senate, as in many of his previous campaigns, he won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Five people have accused Murray of sexual abuse. In April 2017, a lawsuit against Murray claimed that Murray "raped and molested" a teenager in 1986, paying cash for sex to a high-school dropout addicted to crack-cocaine. Two other men made similar allegations in 2007, including a foster son who said Murray sexually assaulted him in 1984 while he was a teenager. He also spoke with a child welfare investigator and detective at the time, and persuaded the investigator that Murray had sexually abused him; however, no charges were filed.
Through a spokesman, Murray denied the allegations, describing them as falsehoods intended to prevent his re-election. Later, Murray's lawyer stated that Murray had undergone a medical examination that disproved a claim about his genitals, arguing the lawsuit should be dropped.
On September 12, 2017, Murray's cousin accused him of sexual abuse when the two teens shared a bedroom in the mid-1970s. Later that day, Murray denied the new allegation, and announced his resignation, effective the next day.
After his resignation, Amnesty International asked the Police Service of Northern Ireland to open an investigation into Murray's 1974 trip to Belfast and Wales, which involved chaperoning 30 Catholic and Protestant children.