State Sen. Ed Murray, D-43, today decided not to heed a somewhat disjointed effort to run as a write-in candidate for Seattle Mayor. Here's what he announced in his press release:
While I am deeply concerned for the future of our city and Michael and I are honored to have been approached by so many people and organizations we admire and respect, I am also a realist: write-in campaigns are extremely difficult, and time is short. Also, the recognition yesterday that Referendum 71 will appear on the fall ballot galvanized my decision.
I considered a write in campaign because I was concerned that one candidate wanted to reopen a fight with the state when we need to work together. The other candidate who seeks to become our civic leader has failed to engage in civic activities including on the most basic level, voting, something Americans in the south have died for in our lifetime. I considered running because I believe Seattle is greater than the selfish conversation in the Mayor'ês race. Missing are issues and leadership on social justice. Issues of poverty and civil rights. This campaign to date has been about one bridge and one neighborhood. Issues such as our schools, neighborhoods and diversity are missing from this debate. I urge the candidates to broaden their messages and address the critical issues facing our city and look forward to working with one of them as our next mayor.
The Murray boomlet probably did the legislator no harm. Indeed, judging by the many phone calls he made, he was pretty busy helping out. It spread his name across the city, which will help him in future races and keeps his place in line for the Congressman Jim McDermott seat. One politician noted with envy the basic "research" Murray accomplished, learning by media coverage that he is primarily typecast as a gay politician (not surprising given all the prominence at the moment of the R-71 issue), rather than as a transportation expert with a Kennedy-style flair for working across the political aisle in Olympia.
Murray finished this productive foray by chiding the other candidates for their neglect of broader issues, calling it "the selfish conversation in the Mayor's race." That's a little rich for someone who managed to have a mini mayor's race without having to risk a real one. But, hey, nice to have some professional political maneuvers in a race among rookies!