Former King County Executive Ron Sims squashed months of speculation this morning, saying he will not run for mayor of Seattle in 2013.
In an interview on KUOW’s Weekday with host Steve Scher, Sims kept the suspense going for a while, making a passionate case that the next mayor ought to use the “bully pulpit” to demand “world class schools.” He talked up his own record at the county and said Seattle “needs some vision.”
But at the end of the interview, Sims said he will not run for mayor this year. “There are other mountains I want to climb,” he said.
Sims served three terms as King County Executive before leaving in 2009 to take the job of deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Obama administration.
He resigned from that post in 2011, citing the difficulty of spending so much time away from his family. Speculation about Sims as a potential 2013 mayoral candidate has swirled ever since.
A poll for KING 5 television last week suggested Sims would start the race atop the pack of challengers to Mayor Mike McGinn. The Survey USA poll found Sims tied with McGinn at 15 percent support in the crowded field (though 34 percent of voters described themselves as undecided).
Sims’ announcement could benefit McGinn — whom the poll indicated likely would attract the largest share of Sims’ supporters.
And the mayor’s rivals also will breathe a sigh of relief.
McGinn already faces seven announced challengers: City Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, state Sen. Ed Murray, businessman Charlie Staadecker, artist David Ishii and Greenwood activist Kate Martin.