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Sen. Ed Murray wrests seat from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn

Mike Baker Associated Press

SEATTLE – The leader of Washington’s successful effort to legalize gay marriage is now set to become Seattle’s next mayor.

Updated election results Wednesday night showed state Sen. Ed Murray winning the race with 56 percent of the vote.

Mayor Mike McGinn’s campaign had held out hope that later ballots would trend in his favor. While the numbers showed some slight improvement for him Wednesday, he was still losing among those more-recent ballots.

Murray said the victory is a sign of a city craving leaders who will bring people together to solve problems.

“We want Seattle to be an example of how government can function,” he said.

A spokesman for McGinn said the mayor would hold a news conference this morning.

The two candidates had largely campaigned with similar policy positions, but they offered contrasting styles of how to lead the Northwest’s largest city. Murray’s call for a more collaborative approach led him to build a broad range of endorsements and financial support.

Murray is a longtime state lawmaker who for years led efforts to legalize gay marriage in the state, which was approved by voters last year. He will become Seattle’s first openly gay mayor.

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