Deputy Secretary Ron Sims announced he will leave the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and return home to Seattle. Sims was the King County Executive from 1996–2009.
Reached by phone Tuesday morning (June 14), Sims attributed his departure from HUD to missing his family and said that he had “no other agenda.”
“Working at HUD has been an extraordinary experience and allowed me to serve the president and the other states,” Sims said. “But my life with my wife was a plane schedule. I didn't want that life anymore. Being home outweighed work.”
The Washington native said his return to the state will mark his retirement. But The Seattle Times said Sims did not rule out a mayoral race in 2013, reporting that Sims endorsed Jay Inslee as “the right candidate” for governor.
Sims, 62, told Crosscut that his plans for being back in the Northwest include “visiting Yellowstone park, Bryce Canyon, and the Yakima wine country.” He says he'll garden and spend time with his kids and mother.
“I want to come home. It's nothing more than that.”
Sims has become known as a prolific poster on Facebook (where he had 4,999 friends as of shortly after noon on Tuesday), and he made an announcement of his departure there. In the Times interview, he mentioned being tired of living in D.C. with his wife, Cayan Topacio, remaining here. On Facebook, his postings, while often inspirational, have sometimes sounded lonely.
Former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, echoed Sims' statement about reconnecting with his family life in the Northwest. In an email, Nickels said, "I think he probably misses his family and home in Seattle. He has done a great job for President Obama and our country."