Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has conceded the mayor’s race, saying he called state Sen. Ed Murray this morning to congratulate him on his victory and offer support in his transition.
“I let him know he was going to be in for an extraordinary four years,” McGinn said at a morning news conference.
After more ballots were counted Wednesday, Murray was leading by 13,211 votes, with 55 percent support, compared with 44 percent for McGinn.
In a speech at his Chinatown International District campaign headquarters, McGinn acknowledged that he might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but said “I hope people know I was always trying to do the right thing.”
McGinn did not close the door to future political runs, saying he would find a way to be involved in public service once his single mayoral term ends in December.
“I ran because I said, ‘Imagine what you could get done as mayor’… That hasn’t been my career plan, to be a politician.”
McGinn was a Sierra Club and neighborhood activist before his unlikely win in the 2009 mayoral race. As mayor, he was known for a go-it-alone, grassroots style and seemed at points to be campaigning instead of running the city. He clashed with business groups, state leaders, and most famously the city council and city attorney.
McGinn said his fight against the downtown tunnel was a tough start. “I’ve probably been digging out of that hole ever since.”
His lowest day in office was during the secret negotiations with the Department of Justice over the Seattle Police Department, he said, when he lost support from the council and City Attorney Pete Holmes.
But even though he did not seek to be politically expedient, he said he had hoped to serve two terms as mayor, and was emotional speaking about leaving the job, which he said is the greatest job in politics.
“I may have to question my tactics. Could I have been smarter?” He said. “I probably dribbled the ball off my foot a couple times when I could have made a nice pass instead.”