Former Seattle council candidate on online harassment: 'We have to set a higher standard'

SEATTLE – A Seattle City Council candidate who dropped out due to online harassment directed at his wife and children said he hasn’t ruled out getting back into the race.

In an interview Tuesday on “Q13 News This Morning,” Christopher Rufo explained that while he is focused on his family and their safety, he has received an outpouring of support for continuing his candidacy.

Rufo also answered questions about scrutiny over his decision to withdraw from the race last week. Asked why he hadn’t contacted police to report what he deemed as a threat of sexual violence toward his wife (she was told to “get f***ing bent”), Rufo said he eventually spoke to investigators.

“My first priority was to make sure my family was safe, to get us back to normal,” he said.

Rufo said the ordeal has been a learning experience as a first-time candidate. He called for greater tolerance for those with different political beliefs.

“We have to set a higher standard,” he said. “I think diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion is critical. But what about the diversity of individual people, what’s in the mind and in their heart? For tolerance, tolerance is about more than just ignoring the other side. It’s about actually being open to new ideas and receptive to thinking differently. Maybe admitting that you’re wrong and finding the best solutions.”

You can watch Rufo's full interview above, and click here for more on the story.