Mayor Ed Murray said he won't wage a write-in candidacy for re-election and instead endorsed Jenny Durkan on Thursday.
Murray said Durkan, a former U.S. attorney, was committed to policies he has put in place during his four years in office.
He said Durkan could "take this city to the next level in these very difficult times."
"She has the best chance of winning," Murray said. "And I really don't want to see this city go back to divisiveness that I inherited."
That's a not-too-subtle swipe at former Mayor Mike McGinn, also a candidate in this race. McGinn, Durkan and Nikkita Oliver got high numbers in a recent KUOW/KING 5 SurveyUSA poll.
Durkan praised Murray and said their values generally align. But she said she wasn't afraid to disagree with him when necessary.
Murray addressed several questions about how the sexual abuse lawsuit — now dropped — against him affected his decision not to run a write-in campaign. The KUOW/KING poll had showed some support for him despite his earlier decision to drop out of the race.
Murray said in the end, the barriers against a write-in campaign were too high.
"Hopefully I'm not doing damage to Jenny Durkan" with an endorsement, Murray said.
Durkan said she didn't expect Murray to be a lame duck in the mayor's office.
"Anyone who knows Ed Murray knows that he will not only finish strong," she said, "he will finish with decisiveness."