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McGinn Concedes Defeat in Seattle Mayor's Race

Elaine Thompson
Associated Press
Mayor Mike McGinn prepares to concede his run for reelection.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has conceded his run for re-election, and called his successor, Ed Murray.

McGinn’s tone was relaxed and candid at the press conference held at his campaign headquarters Thursday.He offered few regrets, but acknowledged he’d made missteps in office and on the campaign trail.

“I may have to question my tactics and how I played it,” said McGinn. “To use a basketball analogy I probably dribbled the ball off my foot a couple of times when I could have made a good pass instead.”

He noted that he’d taken hits over the Highway 99 tunnel project and police reform. But as he did throughout his campaign, McGinn cast them in terms of taking courageous stands.

“You know I think sometimes I rubbed people the wrong way, but I hope people know I was always trying to do the right thing,” he said.

McGinn said he spoke with Mayor-Elect Ed Murray, and congratulated him. Murray said the conversation was gracious and substantive.

“We chanted for a little while about different aspects of the job,” Murray said in an interview. “It was more than just a concession conversation, we actually chatted about some issues.”

Just after McGinn’s concession, Murray named the co-chairs for his transition team: Marth Choe, chief administrative officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dwight Dively, King County’s budget director. Murray will take over the job on Jan. 1.

McGinn said he hasn’t thought much about what he’ll do next, though it will probably involve public service of some kind. He wouldn’t rule out running for office again, but said politics was never his career plan. 

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.