For weeks Seattle Mayor Ed Murray pushed ahead with plans for his re-election campaign despite claims by men he sexually abused them decades ago when they were teenagers, allegations Murray vehemently denied. But Murray announced Tuesday he was abandoning his bid for a second term, saying it would be best for the city, the AP reports. "It tears me to pieces to step away, but I believe it's in the best interest of this city that I love," said Murray, 62, flanked by his husband and tearful supporters. He said he'll serve out his term through the end of this year. The mayor, a Democrat, said he was proud of his accomplishments, including raising Seattle's minimum wage to $15.
Murray reiterated his denial of the allegations that first emerged last month when a man filed a lawsuit claiming Murray paid him for sex in the 1980s. Three other men also came forward with similar allegations, including one who is jailed on drug charges. "The allegations against me are not true," Murray said. "And I say this with all honesty and with the deepest sincerity. But the scandal surrounding them and me is hurting this city." Murray, who became a frequent, high-profile critic of President Trump after last year's election, has previously claimed the allegations were part of an anti-gay conservative campaign to oust him, but he didn't repeat those accusations during his speech.