Bruce Harrell will not continue as Seattle mayor

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE — Bruce Harrell will not continue as Seattle's mayor after he was sworn in upon Ed Murray's resignation earlier this week.

He'll return to serve the city as council president, and another council member will be picked to serve as mayor temporarily.

In team coverage at 5, we explain the process of picking another councilmember. Watch on-air or online here

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Harrell took the oath of office Wednesday after former Mayor Ed Murray resigned after a fifth man, Murray's cousin, accused him of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager.

Murray has denied all of the accusations, and has been out of sight since his resignation.Read those plans here.

Meanwhile, according to the Seattle City Charter, there can’t be a gap in leadership, and the council president had to be sworn in a few minutes before Murray officially stepped down from office.

Harrell, a Seattle native with a legal career, was weighing the decision with help from his wife and advisors this week.

Before he announces his decision, Harrell plans to meet with the two mayoral candidates Friday, Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon, to discuss the situation and the transition when one of them is elected in November.




For the temporary mayor, there are two succession plans in place: one for if the council president accepts the position, and one for if he doesn't. Read those plans here.

If Harrell accepted the mayor's position, his would have needed to vacate his council seat and his two year term. Now that he's declined, the council would appoint someone else, possibly Councilman Tim Burgess or Councilwoman M. Lorena González.

Burgess ran for mayor previously and also served as council president last term. He is retiring this year, and thus does not risk losing his seat for the position.

>> Read 5 things to know about Burgess here 




González, the first council member to publicly ask Murray to step down, serves one of the two citywide representatives. She would have to vacate her seat, but she would likely be re-elected back to her council position in November.

>> Read 5 things to know about González here

Whoever serves as interim, will only do so for a short time. The person who wins the November election will take office once results are confirmed that month, rather than traditionally taking office in January.