Jenny Durkan, Jessyn Farrell join race to replace Seattle Mayor Ed Murray | KUOW News and Information

Jenny Durkan, Jessyn Farrell join race to replace Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

May 12, 2017

The Seattle mayor’s race just got another seismic shake-up.

Jenny Durkan is in the Seattle mayor’s race. The official kick-off was Friday.

Also getting in on Friday: State Rep. Jessyn Farrell. She won her House seat (northeast Seattle, Kenmore, Bothell) in 2012 and has faced little or no opposition in being re-elected. This session she helped spearhead a  law to crack down on use of cell phones by drivers. She is a former executive director of the Transportation Choices Coalition.

Their candidacies come in the wake of Mayor Ed Murray’s decision not to seek re-election while facing a lawsuit accusing him of raping a teenage boy in the 1980s.

Durkan is a former U.S. attorney for Western Washington. She was nominated by President Barack Obama back in 2009, when she was reportedly the first openly gay U.S. attorney.

She's credited with being a leader in the fight against cybercrime and for pressing the Seattle Police Department toward reform.

Durkan is known as a progressive Democrat with friends in high places, who could get backing from portions of Seattle's labor and business communities.

But she joins a large field candidates headed for the primary this summer, including:

Lawyer and educator Nikkita Oliver. She’s running as a candidate for the new Peoples Party of Seattle. Oliver wears a lot of hats – including spoken-word artist and activist. She’s got one high-profile endorsement in the music world – by hip-hop artist Macklemore. “I've known Nikkita for three years, and I’ve been impressed with how she consistently inspires those around her to be engaged in making the world a better place,” he said in a Facebook post.

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. McGinn was mayor from 2010 to 2013, but lost re-election to Murray, who was then a state senator. At that time McGinn's top issues were police brutality, climate change and transportation. He was perhaps best-known for opposing a deep-bore tunnel to replace the downtown viaduct and for contentious relations with the City Council.

Urban planner Cary Moon. Moon was a political ally of McGinn in opposing the tunnel. But Moon says she has a different political style from McGinn. And at her campaign kick-off, she seemed to lay some blame at his feet for Seattle’s housing affordability crisis,” saying it “was set in motion awhile ago, and he did not see it coming."

State Senator Bob Hasegawa. He represents the 11th Legislative District, which includes his Beacon Hill neighborhood. Before entering the Legislature he was involved in union causes. "I'd like to drive government decision making down to the neighborhood level,” he said.

Update, 5/12: A lot of other candidates have announced plans to run to replace Murray, too.