Two days after an estimated 17,000 people turned out in Seattle to cheer an appearance by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the mayor of the largest city in the Pacific Northwest will endorse Sanders’ rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Two days after an estimated 17,000 people turned out in Seattle to cheer an appearance by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the mayor of the largest city in the Pacific Northwest will endorse Sanders’ rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Mayor Ed Murray said he hopes Clinton — who served two terms in the U.S. Senate representing New York state, including New York City — will be the Democratic nominee for president because she’s better equipped to help Seattle.
“I’m endorsing her because she was a U.S. senator who understands big-city issues,” he said. “Whether we’re working the minimum wage, or affordable housing, or homelessness, we’ve got to take this stuff to scale, and we need a partner in the White House who can continue to work with us and who can actually get some things done.”
Murray’s endorsement could anger many of his constituents; Seattle is a hotbed of support for Sanders, contributing more dollars to his campaign, per capita, than any other large city in the country, according to an analysis by The Seattle Times.
“I hope folks don’t judge me on one endorsement,” the mayor said, touting his work on Seattle’s $15-an- hour minimum-wage ordinance and other measures.
“I’ve spent my entire adult life working on building up the Democratic Party, and I’m very pleased the party in 2016 has candidates conducting a substantive debate on the issues. I would absolutely be happy supporting either (Clinton or Sanders).”
Murray said he understands Clinton’s stance on a $15 minimum wage; she’s said that amount is appropriate for some areas but not all. Sanders has called for it nationwide. “The approach here in Seattle has been ramping up to it,” Murray said. “We should get to $15 everywhere but have different levels at different times.”
Some Sanders backers have criticized Clinton because at one time she backed the War on Drugs and, until relatively recently, opposed gay marriage. She since has changed those positions. Murray said she’s evolved.
“I don’t hear her talking about policies from the 1990s. I hear her talking about what we can do now when it comes to the prison pipeline,” he said.
Campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Formas said Clinton is grateful for Murray’s support, calling him “a progressive champion who has fought tirelessly for marriage equality and has led the way to raise the minimum wage.”
The mayor said he expects Sanders to win Washington’s Democratic caucuses and Seattle in particular. But he noted that other big-city leaders have endorsed Clinton.