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Jenny Durkan announces mayoral campaign

The former US attorney praised Ed Murray’s leadership

Former United States Attorney Jenny Durkan made her official mayoral campaign kickoff announcement Friday morning in Beacon Hill.

Her history as both a US Attorney and corporate lawyer and with former governor Christine Gregoire positions her as a comparably moderate candidate—and a frontrunner—in a race that’s getting extremely crowded.

Many of Durkan’s policies seem designed to appeal to someone who would have voted to re-elect mayor Ed Murray before his scandal and subsequent dropping out of the race. Crosscut’s David Kroman even observed that many people who stood behind Murray for his campaign-termination announcement joined Durkan for her speech today.

Discussing homelessness during her announcement, Durkan nodded to the Pathways Home initiative, and said she’d “continue building public/private partnerships” and direct more resources to mental health and drug treatment.

Durkan also gave a lot of speech time to housing costs, and lauded the current mayor’s “leadership” in building Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), something that’s not popular with all mayoral candidates.

Nikkita Oliver, for example, has raised objections to determining affordability based on the city’s $80,000 median income. Mike McGinn told Erica C. Barnett that HALA’s “not the scale we need.” Cary Moon told Barnett that we “missed some opportunities with HALA.”

Bob Hasegawa expressed a discomfort with the very concept of striking a deal with developers, who were involved in the HALA committee that made recommendations currently being implemented: “A developer’s not going to take a deal unless it’s a good deal for the developer.”

HALA should be a heated topic on the campaign, even—perhaps especially—with Murray out of the race.

Unsurprisingly, former governor Christine Gregoire, who Durkan has represented on multiple occasions, has already given an endorsement, as well as former King County Executive and HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims.