Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn officially launched his fall campaign Monday with a series of new attacks against his opponent, state Senator Ed Murray.
Standing before a sea of supporters on a street corner in Ballard, McGinn outlined the accomplishments of his first four years and took aim at Murray’s legislative record in Olympia.
“We have a Democratic governor, we have a Democratic state house, we have a Democratic congressional delegation, a Democratic attorney general, but Senator Murray lost the leadership of the Senate,” McGinn said. "That has consequences."
Last year, Murray was elected Senate majority leader, but was deposed when fellow Democrat Rodney Tom formed a coalition with Senate Republicans.
The McGinn campaign also blasted Murray for supporting three pieces of legislation that it called “economically devastating” for workers, including a 2001 bill that would have established a lower minimum wage for workers who regularly receive tips.
At a forum later in the day sponsored by the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, Murray accused McGinn of mis-characterizing his record.
“I think it’s a Karl Rove tactic,” Murray said of the McGinn campaign’s claims. “You try and take someone’s strength, and my strength has been in social justice and civil rights, and you try to rip them and their reputation and raise doubts.”
Murray says the bill in question had been part of a compromise to get more benefits for restaurant workers, and it was supported by several progressive Democrats, including Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and the late Kip Tokuda, who both endorsed the mayor.
McGinn’s claim that Murray lost the Democratic majority in the Senate “makes no sense,” said Murray. Democrats lost the majority after failing to win a critical seat in the election, according to Murray.
Throughout the campaign, Murray has highlighted his accomplishments in 18 years in the state Legislature, including passage of the state's largest transportation package and marriage equality. At yesterday's forum, he again accused Mayor McGinn of destroying the city's relationships in Olympia when he chose to fight the state's plan to replace the city's aging Highway 99 viaduct with a downtown tunnel.
The two men will have many opportunities to follow up on those themes. They have more than 30 joint appearances planned before the November election.