King County Executive Ron Sims had a no-subject-specified media briefing scheduled for this morning – and multiple sources report he is taking a new job with the Obama Administration. We’re not at the briefing since we’re en route to a mayoral event at West Seattle High School but will update when word comes from the executive himself. 10:34 AM UPDATE: It’s confirmed. The event we’re at includes Mayor Nickels and former mayor Norm Rice, so we should hear what they have to say about it. Read Sims’ statement at the county website. 11:27 AM UPDATE: Just talked to Mayor Nickels after the news conference. He says Sims called him with the news this morning. Will add our clip with mayor’s comment when we’re back at HQ. Rice, by the way, didn’t speak at this event after all, so no comment from him. 11:35 AM UPDATE: Just received this statement from West Seattle-residing King County Council Chair Dow Constantine:
“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to King County Executive Ron Sims on his appointment as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I commend him for taking on this new challenge and stepping forward to serve our citizens as a federal official.
“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.
“It is the voters of King County—not this Council—who this November will select an Executive to serve them for the next four years.”
We’ve also asked for a comment on whether he’s considering running for the job. ADDED 12:53 PM: On video, the comment we got from Mayor Nickels while he was visiting West Seattle High School this morning for an event celebrating student health centers (separate report to come):
Inspired by P-I online journalist Monica Guzman, here’s the direct link to congratulation messages being sent to Sims via Twitter.