A candidate for Seattle mayor is pulling a television ad attacking her opponent following criticism that the spot highlighting sexual assault issues was racist.
The ad from Lorena González tried to remind voters of Bruce Harrell’s statements during a sexual abuse scandal involving former Mayor Ed Murray in 2017. At the time Harrell expressed doubts about the allegations and did not join González in calling for Murray to consider resigning.
Murray ultimately left office that year after several men accused him of sexually abusing them decades earlier. He denied the allegations.
But The Seattle Times reports the ad’s use of a white rape survivor — not a Murray accuser — who said she could not trust Harrell triggered blowback from Harrell supporters and Black political and civic leaders who said it was racist. Harrell is Black and Asian American.
In a video statement Monday, González, the City Council president, said she believes Harrell, a former council president, has a “troubling” record of responding to sexual abuse and harassment allegations, including during the Murray scandal.