Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced that he will not seek re-election.
This comes as Ed Murray has faced allegations of sexual abuse from four different people. Murray has maintained that the allegations are false, but he announced today that the scandal is hurting the city and so he will not run for office again in 2017. However, he will still finish out his term.
Ed Murray is the first openly gay mayor of Seattle, and he has been married for four years to his husband, Michael Shiosaki. Here’s what you need to know about Ed Murray’s husband, Michael Shiosaki.
1. He Met Ed Murray in 1991
Ed Murray and Michael Shiosaki met in 1991.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, it happened on a hiking trip to the Mount Rainier National Park with some mutual friends.
“It was kind of a mystical day, actually, with fog that made the wildflowers’ colors more intense, a wonderful blowing fog,” Shiosaki told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of the day he met his future husband.
At the time, Ed Murray did not hold elected office, but he was working as an assistant to City Councilmember Martha Choe. Murray told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that after he met Shiosaki, he actually had to rush back to a meeting.
“I was not yet in the Legislature, but I was a political animal,” he said.
2. He Grew Up in Spokane Valley & Is the Grandson of Japanese Immigrants
According to The Spokesman Review, Michael Shiosaki grew up in Spokane Valley, Washington.
Shiosaki’s grandfather came to the United States from Japan in 1904, opening up a laundromat in Spokane Valley. When Shiosaki was growing up, his father and uncles all worked at that laundromat.
His father fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Japanese-American Army unit, during World War II.
Shiosaki attended University High School, and he says that he was one of only about three Asian-Americans at the entire school.
“I had a great childhood in the ’burbs,” he told The Spokesman Review. “In some ways, it made me feel I needed to fit in. It makes you adapt.”
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Shiosaki comes from a Methodist background.
3. He Works for the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department
Michael Shiosaki graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in landscape architecture.
According to the Spokesman Review, after college, he began working for Bellevue planning parks, and in 2001, he was hired to work at the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department.
Shiosaki still works at the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, which he is now the director of, according to his LinkedIn page.
4. He & Murray Were Married in 2013
Michael Shiosaki and Ed Murray were married in 2013 on the 22nd anniversary of the day they met, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
They were married at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Two of Murray’s sisters walked him down the aisle, while Shiosaki’s parents walked him down the aisle.
Same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington in 2012. Murray and Shiosaki said that they wanted to wait to marry until they could do so legally in the state of Washington.
“We wanted to get married in our home state: We were going to wait it out and be married here,” Shiosaki told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
5. He & Murray Were Out as a Gay Couple for Years & Fought for LGBT Issues
Long before their marriage, Michael Shiosaki and Ed Murray were an openly gay couple fighting for LGBT issues.
According to the Spokesman Review, Murray and Shiosaki have been described as a power couple. During Ed Murray’s political campaigns, Shiosaki was a key part of the effort, with a Seattle political consultant who worked on the Murray campaign telling the Spokesman Review that Shiosaki was their “secret weapon.”
“He’s quiet, a calming presence, but people connect with Michael,” Kaushik said. “The two of them together just seemed like a quintessential Seattle couple – gay, straight, it made no difference.”
Shiosaki often attends political events with his husband, and they continue to advocate for LGBT issues.
Michael Shiosaki was present during Ed Murray’s announcement today, and Murray hugged his husband after announcing he will not seek re-election.