Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman survived recall attempt in 1975

Photo Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives 

SEATTLE — Before Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation effective 5 p.m. Wednesday, there were questions about his future in office.

It's rare for a Seattle mayor to face a recall. Wes Uhlman was the last mayor of Seattle to face a recall effort, in 1975 -- an he easily survived it.

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On July 1, 1975, Wes Uhlman won roughly 63 percent of the vote to remain in office, and insisted that the recall was the work of city employees trying to control management.

On the day following the recall vote, the Seattle Times reported the following results:

Total votes cast: 122,717

For Recall: 44,741 (36.7 percent)

Against Recall: 77,009 (63.2 percent)

"I don't think I was the issue in the voting," Uhlman told a Times reporter when asked if the vote was a referendum on his personal popularity. "People voted for other reasons than whether they liked me,"

The recall effort began with differences between Uhlman's Office of Management and Budget and the Fire Department where a number of program cuts were proposed in the fall of 1974, and continued after he fired former Fire Chief Jack Richards.

"It's time to heal some of the wounds, but I want to make it very clear to the men and the public that we will continue to try to maximize the efficiency of the department and tighten some of the management (practices) that caused me to have to fire Jack Richards in the first place," Uhlman told reporters.