Former KIRO-TV news anchor Susan Hutchison announced her candidacy this morning to succeed Ron Sims as King County executive.

Former KIRO-TV news anchor Susan Hutchison announced her candidacy this morning to succeed Ron Sims as King County executive.

Declaring that “our county’s financial house is in disorder,” Hutchison questioned the need for new taxes to close a projected $50 million budget deficit next year.

“We need a new direction in King County, with new leadership that does not believe the answer to every problem is a new fee or a higher tax,” she said in a news release announcing her candidacy.

She will compete against three other declared candidates: Metropolitan King County Councilmembers Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips and state Rep. Fred Jarrett.

President Obama’s announcement in February that he would nominate Sims for deputy secretary of housing and urban development has led to intense jockeying for the county’s top administrative post. Sims plans to resign after his appointment is confirmed by the Senate — something his office doesn’t expect to happen before late April or early May

Hutchison has been executive director of the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences since 2003, chairs the Seattle Symphony board of directors and sits on the boards of several other nonprofit organizations.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com