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McGinn, Murray Revive Tunnel Feud In TV Debate

Screen shot of Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray in their first televised debate of the Seattle mayor's race

In their first televised debate on KING5 TV, Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray engaged in a sharp but mostly civil exchange over housing, transportation, and police reform, among other things.  But the two sparred over an old issue that has not surfaced much during this campaign—construction of the Highway 99 tunnel in downtown Seattle.

It was Mike McGinn’s signature issue when he first ran for mayor four years ago. McGinn was a vocal opponent of the multi-billion dollar project.

Senator Murray accused McGinn of misleading voters. Just days before the election, McGinn reversed his position and promised he would not stand in the way of the tunnel, but then he tried to block it his first two years in office, Murray said. 

“How can we as a city trust you?” Murray asked.

McGinn replied:

“I said that I accepted the tunnel but I didn’t accept the cost overruns, and in fact it was the cost overrun provision that you put into law, in the legislature, in which you told the legislature that we would pay cost overruns, and then you told us that the state would pay."

Year started with KUOW: 2005