For those of us who really like Ron Sims, yet were dreading the prospect of a campaign for a fourth term as King County Executive, his announcement today that he has accepted the number two position at the Department of Housing and Urban Development is a welcome relief.
Fourth terms are difficult for executives to win at all levels of government, as voters and the media tend to grow weary of their executives in a way we don’t seem to grow weary of legislators. It would have been a difficult campaign, and he might have lost, and I’m not sure Ron’s heart was really in it in the first place. And so this plum position at HUD—overseeing the day-to-day operations of a department with a $39 billion budget and 8,500 employees—is exactly the kind of graceful exit Ron deserves, and for which many of his friends and supporters had hoped.
So congratulations Ron. (And congratulations to Publicola for sticking with this scoop even while Sims’ office vehemently denied it.)
From the HUD press release :
"Ron’s track record as an innovative leader with an exciting vision for the future of our nation’s communities make him the perfect Deputy Secretary candidate as we tackle the nation’s housing crisis amidst the biggest economic downturn in decades," said HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan. "His experience at the helm of a large urban government provides a critical perspective and his collaborative approach to problem-solving has prepared him to effectively lead HUD’s operations as the agency charts a new aggressive course."
[…] "I am thrilled and honored that Ron has agreed to be considered for this role," added Donovan. "He is the perfect person to help HUD return to national leadership on metropolitan planning. Together, we will work with President Obama to ensure HUD is doing all it can to help the nation’s communities recover from today’s economic realities and to better position them for the future."