by Mark Neuman

Former KIRO-TV reporter and anchor Susan Hutchison spoke with The B-Town Blog recently. She and County Council Chair Dow Constantine are going head-to-head to become King County’s next Executive.

As of August 27th, the most recently updated election results show Susan with about 33% of the primary votes. The results also show the four office-holding Democrats in the primary race (including Dow) with a cumulative 62% of the vote.

How will you go about attracting some of that 62% your way? we asked Susan.

“Dow is so partisan. He just sees everything from the filter of his Democratic point of view. (Primary opponents) Fred Jarrett and Ross Hunter represented outsiders, as I did, and they did rather well,” she said.

“Most people looking at the vote results would say that the bulk of the votes went to outsider candidates. I would suggest that in fact the vote was very clearly for an outsider candidate.

“I think the way the voters divided us up was ‘insider versus outsider.’ And the outsiders won big.”

“I think a ‘rainy day fund’ is absolutely prudent government management,” she said.

“In a (private sector) company, what you have is something called a cash reserve, and the finance department or board of directors is always looking at that cash reserve.

“It’s understood that you are going to have good days and bad days. Good years and bad years. You’ve got to have the capability to cover using that cash reserve. That is just a basic principle of good accounting and money management in a company. And that’s why it’s essential in government as well,” Susan said.

“We are in a budget crisis. We can project now that between this year and next we’re going to have a $110 million budget shortfall. We have to go back to first principles. That is ‘what is the county’s job?’ And the county’s job is to provide safety and protection to its people.

“It is really essential that we keep that in mind as we go through this process of trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

“This budget crisis we are now in falls directly at the feet of the county council and its chair, Dow Constantine, because the council carries the power of the purse.

“We cannot trust a politician who helped get us into this mess to get us out of it,” Susan said.

“Oh, absolutely. I was there recently for two (campaign) forums. Burien has that ‘Main Street USA’ feel,” she said. “It’s terrific. Oh, and there’s great access to the airport when you’re in Burien!”

Susan says she supports annexation efforts.

“I just think it’s important that the choice be given to the people. There’ve been some efforts throughout the county to annex without the residents (of the unincorporated area) weighing in on that decision and I think that’s wrong.

“I’m always with the people.”

Susan spent 20 years with the KIRO-TV News department.

“Certainly one my most treasured memories of the job I did there was to write and produce a documentary on Chinese culture and history called ‘Son of Heaven’. I spent a lot of time in China doing the shooting and research. It won several Emmy awards and had a year-long run of attention.”

Susan recounted the course of events that led up to her coming to KIRO:

After attending the University of Florida, she was working in television in Hawaii in the late 1970’s. Lloyd Cooney, who ran KIRO at the time, was visiting Hawaii and happened to see her delivering the news on a local channel. Cooney sent her a letter inviting her to consider working in Seattle.

“It was months before I actually met Lloyd, but I eventually came to work at KIRO. I just loved Lloyd when I met him. He’s an amazing fellow.

“I still have the letter he sent me. It’s very precious.”


  • The General Election is November 3, and, like the primary, will be an all mail-in election.
  • The B-Town Blog interviewed Dow Constantine the night of the August 18th primary and ran the interview the next day – click here to read it.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

2 replies on “A B-Town Chat With King County Executive Candidate Susan Hutchison”

  1. Is she channeling Sarah Palin? Great. Just what we need. Another right wing, religious fanatic with the intelligence, temperament, and aptitude of a junior high school cheer leader. The only thing missing was a wink and a “You betcha”.

  2. Would s fired been cool to hear her version of why she was fired from her last job.Ans can she put to rest all those former co-workers and people that know her that say she is an airhead. Personally, I would likw to know why she is running, and how she plans on solving the budget crisis in King County- Not just a bunch of rhetoric about Dow is partisan- Like okay a rainy day fund is good, but how is she going to acheive that if the county cn’t even pay for parks to stay open?

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