King County Executive Ron Sims has finally made it official – he’ll resign to take a position with the federal department of House and Urban Development.
Sims’ position will be pretty high-ranking – deputy secretary.
The Spokane native is at the end of his third term as executive and had planned to seek a fourth. He served on the county council before that and was on the staff of former state Sen. George Flemming.
Sims, 60, has twice run for statewide elected office. In 1994 he was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, losing to then-U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton. And in 2000 he lost the Democratic primary for governor to Chris Gregoire.
Sims was a state co-chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign but jumped over to Obama once he had secured the presidential nomination.
The King County charter provides for a deputy, designated by the executive, to take over the duties if a vacancy happens. But the council can also appoint a successor and that is what the council plans to do.
The executive was already subject to this fall’s election. So far only county Councilman Larry Phillips has declared for the office.
Read his letter to supporters here.
President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate me as the next Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed by the United States Senate, I will serve the President.
I want to thank you for the support and encouragement you have given me all these years. I would not have been able to serve in an elected capacity without your help. There are no words to express my heartfelt gratitude for your contributions of time and money; no measure of my appreciation for your passion and commitment to work with me on issues that affect our quality of life.
When President Obama was elected, I said to you:
“The Obama administration will mark the beginning of an historic opportunity. We must not fail to seize the moment. This is our time to realign our economy back in favor of working people; to act on climate change by restoring science to its proper role in informing our decisions; to build inclusive communities with great schools; provide everyone with decent housing and health care; and, to achieve racial equality.”
I sincerely believed I would be tackling these challenges at the regional level when I announced my intention to seek reelection as County Executive. Little did I imagine that I would be called upon by the President to join him on this historic journey. I am so honored. If confirmed, I will give the President, his administration, and our country my very best. I am eager to promote what we have done here in King County, particularly in helping other metropolitan centers adapt to climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build healthy communities that provide economic opportunities for all.
Again, let me thank you for your unyielding support. Leaving King County government will be very difficult, but I look forward to the opportunity to serve our President and our great country.