At debate, Seattle mayoral candidates asked their reactions to Ed Murray’s resignation

SEATTLE — The two candidates for Seattle mayor — Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon — held a debate Tuesday night on the issues of homelessness and city affordability.  But Mayor Ed Murray’s surprise resignation announcement quickly became a prime topic.

To quickly address the news that everyone was talking about, the moderator asked both candidates what they thought about the resignation.

"I had a conversation with the mayor and told him he needed to look very carefully at whether he could continue to lead this great city of ours," Durkan said. "And if he couldn't, he should step down. This morning it was clear to me that he could no longer lead as mayor and I called on him to resign. He chose to do so, and I think that was the right decision. Because I think the city needs to focus on some very important critical issues."

Moon, an urban planner, said the mayor had become a distraction and a detriment to the city and that's why she called for him to resign in May.

"I'm sorry it took so long," Moon said. "I'm glad he did today. And I think the main reason is his defending his action resulted in demeaning and victim-blaming for the many young people who came forward years later, but they were young when it happened, and I think that using the bully pulpit of the mayor's office to defend yourself and demean and victim-blame is a misuse of public trust."

Moon said she hopes voters will remember that she called on Murray to resign in May -- and didn't wait until Tuesday. Moon said she stood up for Seattleites, especially for those who are sex abuse victims.

Durkan, a former U.S. attorney, said her campaign shouldn't be tainted by Murray's endorsement of her candidacy and the allegations against him, adding that she has a squeaky clean background and vowing that there would be no scandals if she is elected mayor.

The mayoral election is on Nov. 7.