May 9 (UPI) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, facing sexual abuse allegations, ended his campaign for re-election Tuesday — saying the race should focus on the issues, not scandal.

Murray’s decision comes a month after he was accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing teenage boys in the 1980s.

Murray has denied the allegations by Delvonn Heckard, a 46-year-old Kent man who filed a lawsuit against him, and similar claims by other men.

The accusations “paint me in the worst possible historic portraits of a gay man,” he said during an emotional speech Tuesday, adding that the scandal is bad for the city.

“It hurts those who have been victims of abuse. It hurts my family. It hurts Michael,” Murray said, referring to his husband, Michael Shiosaki. “For these reasons, I am announcing that I am withdrawing as a candidate for mayor.”

Murray, who was elected in 2014 after 18 years as a state lawmaker, was projected not long ago to easily win a second term as mayor.

“The mayor’s race must be focused on these issues, not on a scandal, which it would be focused on if I were to remain in this race,” he added. “It tears me to pieces to step away. But I believe it is in the best interest of this city that I love.”



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