Seattle mayor announces she won't run for reelection

Seattle mayor announces she won't run for reelection
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Seattle Mayor Jenny DurkanJenny DurkanEviction ban extended in Seattle Seattle lawmakers approve cut to police department spending Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Seattle leaders in fatal protest zone shooting MORE (D) announced Monday she won't seek reelection.

In a video message posted online by her campaign, Durkan said during the year 2020 she was faced with a choice between "campaigning" for her job and "doing" her job as mayor.

“We know stopping the spread of the virus, protecting jobs and focusing on the economic recovery — especially for downtown — is going to take everything we’ve got,” she said. "There was only one right choice for our city: doing the job.”


Durkan has had a turbulent last year in office amid the coronavirus pandemic and the effort by protestors to set up an "autonomous zone" in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood. 

The effort, launched amid nationwide protests for racial justice that were themselves caused by the police killing of an unarmed Black man named George Floyd in Minneapolis, put Seattle in the national spotlight. 

Protesters for weeks occupied a six-block radius in the city, which led President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE to repeatedly criticize Durkan for allowing "anarchy" on the streets of her city.

Trump criticized a number of cities led by Democrats throughout the fall as he sought to rally his supporters and win reelection, a bid that ultimately failed. 

In the video, Durkan touted her accomplishments, saying she is proud of the work she did as the city's mayor. 

"We stood strong against the Trump administration to protect immigrants, LGBTQ families and BIPOC communities," she said.

Police commissioner Carmen Best resigned in August after the city council approved steep cuts to the department's budget, a top request of activists in the city.

One city commissioner led a protest near Durkan's house in June after Durkan promised to disband the occupied territory in the city. Seattle police eventually cleared the area with minimal incident.

In the video, Durkan said the "2020 changed everything" given the coronavirus, which hit Washington state before much of the country. 

And she framed her decision to not seek another term on the need to have a full-time mayor who would not be campaigning, stating that the city still has "some tough months ahead" in fighting the coronavirus.

Durkan's term runs through November 2021.

CORRECTION: Durkan's term does not end until November 2021. An earlier version of this story included incorrect information.