King County Executive Ron Sims announced moments ago that he is resigning to take a position with the Obama administration. Sims will become deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The appointment requires Senate confirmation.
That means the race for King County Executive is wide open, with Democratic County Councilman Larry Phillips, who represents our area, already throwing his hat into the ring. Philips lives in Magnolia and is a strong advocate for Sound Transit and light rail.
Last November voters passed a county charter amendment that would change the Executive’s position from partisan to non-partisan.
Update 11:30 a.m.: The King County Council will now choose an interim replacement to serve until voters elect a new Executive in November. Here are excerpts from a statement from Council Chair Dow Constantine:
“I will sit down immediately with my colleagues to create a non-partisan process to choose an interim replacement to serve the remainder of Executive Sims’ term.
“An ideal appointee would possess the necessary policy experience, political skills, and management ability to help guide King County through the next several months. We need an appointed executive who can devote his or her full attention and talents to the unprecedented financial challenges facing King County.