Ed Murray, the Democratic state senator who filed an exploratory committee last week to run for mayor, didn't seem particularly exploratory about his campaign last night, when he packed nearly 200 people in to a north Capitol Hill mansion to raise money. A youthful door crew shook down everyone who crossed the threshold asking for up to $700, the maximum donation allowed, and ended the night with a thick parcel of donation envelopes.

Murray faces a Friday deadline for fundraising, at which point he goes into a freeze over the long legislative session, and he can't begin again until the session concludes in spring—or worse if it drags on, in summer. The pad belongs to Equal Rights Washington director Rod Hearne and consultant Roger Nyhus, who did expensive consulting work on the campaign to pass gay marriage this year. Their place was decked with neatly dressed homosexuals, a cast of Seattle's political scene, a forest of poinsettias, and a massive fuzzy dog/bear named Archimedes.