In a big week for Seattle mayoral candidate Ed Murray, the veteran state Senator today picked up key endorsements from City Attorney Pete Holmes, City Councilmember Tim Burgess and immigrant rights advocate Pramila Jayapal.
All emphasized Murray’s ability to collaborate on important issues and contrasted his leadership style with that of incumbent mayor Mike McGinn, whose administration Holmes characterized as divisive and unwilling to work with other elected officials.
On Thursday, Murray picked up the endorsement of former King County Executive and HUD deputy Ron Sims, solidifying Murray’s status as a front runner in the nine-person race to unseat McGinn.
Holmes said he could have stayed out of the mayor’s race because he has no challenger and will have to work with whoever is elected for the next four years. But he added, “elections matter and mayors matter. Another four years of the current administration is not in the city’s best interests. It’s time to strike a better tone and bring new leadership to the mayor’s office.”
McGinn picked a very public fight with Holmes over who had authority to represent the city over Department of Justice-ordered police reforms. Holmes said that fight, as well as McGinn’s initial resistance to the proposed settlement agreement, prolonged the negotiations and delayed implementation.
Burgess called Murray a “proven, progressive leader” and predicted that the senator would conduct a national search for a new police chief with a track record of implementing reforms.
He also said Murray could engage effectively with the Seattle School District to improve education, particularly for at-risk youth. Burgess added that Murray’s experience with state transportation projects and funding would enable the senator to “revitalize the city’s decaying transportation infrastructure.”
Burgess, who dropped out of the mayor’s race in early May, called Murray “the best choice, by far.”
Jayapal praised Murray’s commitment not only to marriage equality but to immigrant and human rights. She recounted how the senator visited Eastern Washington to view first hand the poor condition of migrant workers’ housing and then championed a bill to provide $8 million in state funds to improve farmworker housing.
She noted the historic passage of an immigrants’ rights bill in the U.S. Senate Thursday and said Seattle needs a strong mayor who can help immigrants access the reforms.