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News >  Washington

Seattle councilman becomes the city’s 3rd mayor in a week

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 18, 2017

A protester holds up a sign against Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess, right, who has been chosen by the Seattle City Council as temporary mayor, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle. (Ken Lambert / Seattle Times)
A protester holds up a sign against Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess, right, who has been chosen by the Seattle City Council as temporary mayor, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle. (Ken Lambert / Seattle Times)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – Seattle on Monday got its third mayor in less than a week following the resignation last week of Ed Murray amid allegations he sexually abused teenage boys decades ago.

The City Council named Councilman Tim Burgess, a former Seattle police detective, to serve as mayor until voters elect a replacement in November.

“I promise to work every day for the next 71 days to help heal and move the city forward,” Burgess said after the 5-1 vote to approve his nomination.

In accordance with the city’s charter, Council President Bruce Harrell had been sworn in after Murray’s resigned last Wednesday. Harrell had five days to decide whether to give up his council seat and serve out Murray’s term; he took two days before declining the top job.

Burgess, 68, was first elected in 2007 and helped lead the effort to expand preschool access in Seattle. He had decided not to run for re-election.

Murray, Burgess and Harrell are all Democrats.

Murray, a first-term mayor who previously served as a state lawmaker, denied the accusations against him but said his resignation was best for the city.

He announced his resignation after the Seattle Times reported that a fifth man – one of his cousins – had accused Murray of molesting him decades ago.

Among the tasks facing Burgess during his brief stint as mayor will be presenting the council with the city budget next Monday. He promised it will be balanced and fair while upholding the city’s progressive values.

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and urban planner Cary Moon, both Democrats, are running for mayor in the November election.

City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a socialist, voted against Burgess, citing his support for an expensive new North Seattle police precinct and what she portrayed as his insufficient concern for homeless people.

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