Ed Murray (Washington politician)

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Ed Murray
Ed Murray at SR 520 Floating Bridge Opening - 01 (crop).jpg
53rd Mayor of Seattle
Assumed office
January 1, 2014
Preceded by Michael McGinn
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 43rd district
In office
January 2007 – December 2013
Preceded by Pat Thibaudeau
Succeeded by Jamie Pedersen
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
October 1995 – January 2007
Preceded by Pat Thibaudeau
Succeeded by Jamie Pedersen
Personal details
Born (1955-05-02) May 2, 1955 (age 61)
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michael Shiosaki (m. 2013)
Residence Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Mayoral homepage
Murray, November 2014, roasting departing Stranger reporter and editor Dominic Holden

Edward B. "Ed" Murray (born May 2, 1955) is an American politician serving as the 53rd and current mayor of Seattle. He served in the Washington State Senate from 2007-2013, and before that for 11 years in the Washington State House of Representatives.

Early life and education[edit]

Murray was born in Aberdeen, Washington, to an Irish Catholic family; he had six siblings. 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.[1]

Murray graduated from the University of Portland in 1980; he majored in sociology.[2]

Political career[edit]

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.[2] 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.[1][3] Murray later managed a nonprofit focused on gay rights.[1]

Early start[edit]

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.[1]

After being appointed to the House in October 1995 and was re-elected biennially until he opted not to run for re-election to the House in 2006. 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[citation needed].

In 2006, he announced his intention to challenge Senator Thibaudeau for the 43rd District seat in the State Senate.[4] In May 2006, Thibaudeau dropped out of her race for re-election and Murray was elected to the Senate with little opposition.[5] 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 chair of the majority caucus. 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.[6] He has also been very active in advancing LGBT rights. He led the push for an anti-discrimination law protecting gays and lesbians, a measure that finally passed in 2006 after three decades of debate.[7] He was also the main sponsor of legislation creating domestic partnerships, approved in 2007.[8]

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 unsafe Alaskan Way Viaduct.[9] Murray has consistently advocated in favor of the project, despite well-documented concerns regarding the viability of the project and his financing bill, including language that places responsibility for paying cost overruns with Seattle-area taxpayers.[10] Bertha, the machine drilling the deep-bore tunnel, broke down in December 2013 and did not move in over a year, leading to costly delays and significant challenges such as destabilizing soil conditions under Seattle's historic Pioneer Square and the Viaduct itself.[11] In an article examining the role various elected officials and advocates played to push for the deep-bore tunnel despite a number of engineering and financing concerns, The Stranger wrote that "nobody is more responsible for the deep-bore tunnel than Ed Murray."[12]

In February 2013, Murray was a sponsor of an assault weapons ban bill, SB 5737, that as drafted allowed police to conduct warrantless searches in the homes of assault weapon owners once per year, with a punishment of up to one year in jail for citizens who did not comply.[13][14]

Mayoral career[edit]

Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle in the 2013 elections.[15][16] He is running for re-election in 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Murray is of Irish descent.[17] Murray is gay, and came out in 1980.[1] In 2013, he married Michael Shiosaki at St. Mark's in Seattle; the two had had a relationship for 22 years.[18] Murray has not emphasized his sexual orientation during his career, describing himself as "a Democrat who happens to be gay."[2] In his campaign to the Senate, like many of his previous campaigns, won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e 2013 Seattle mayoral race: Ed Murray, Seattle Times.
  2. ^ a b c Chris Kardish, Ed Murray: One of America's Most Progressive Mayors, Governing (August 2015).
  3. ^ Josh Feit, The Education of Ed Murray, Seattle Met (January 2013).
  4. ^ Garber, Andrew (April 1, 2006). "Ed Murray will leave House, run for Senate". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2006-05-10. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Ralph (May 11, 2006). "Thibaudeau drops out of state senate race". Seattle Times. 
  6. ^ Hadley, Jane (January 17, 2005). "Reform sought in how state faces transportation issues". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  7. ^ Mcgann, Chris (January 28, 2006). "A long-awaited win for gay rights: Senate OKs state anti-bias bill". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  8. ^ "Washington state lawmakers pass domestic partnership bill giving rights to same-sex couples". International Herald Tribune. April 11, 2007. 
  9. ^ [1], SB 5768.
  10. ^ Holden, Dominic. "What Could Possibly Go Wrong". The Stranger. 
  11. ^ Lindblom, Mike. "Viaduct sinks an inch as workers dig to repair. Bertha". The Seattle Times. 
  12. ^ Holden, Dominic. "Who to blame for Bertha". The Stranger. 
  13. ^ Misstep in gun bill could defeat the effort, Seattle Times, February 17, 2013
  14. ^ Sen. Ed Murray introduces assault weapons ban The Olympian, on February 12, 2013
  15. ^ "Home | Ed Murray for Mayor of Seattle". Murray4mayor.com. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Murray: 'We're here tonight to declare victory' in mayor's race". Seattle Times. November 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Sanders, Eli (26 June 2012). "Seattle's Best Christians: Senator Ed Murray". The Stranger. Seattle, United States. 
  18. ^ Connelly, Joel. "Ed Murray-Michael Shiosaki: A 22-year trip to the altar". SeattlePI. Hearst Seattle Media. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "Victory Fund endorsements yield 67 winners". The Advocate. November 9, 2006. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael McGinn
Mayor of Seattle