SEATTLE – Dow Constantine will be the next King County Executive, after opponent Susan Hutchison conceded the race Wednesday evening,
"Because the new Executive has only a few weeks until taking office, I want him to be able to move forward quickly to accomplish an orderly transition," said Hutchison in a press release. "I encourage Dow Constantine to reach out to all our voters in the county, setting aside divisive politics to solve the complex problems before us."
Constantine's campaign manager told KING 5 News that Hutchison called Constantine and that the two had a "short but cordial chat."
The concession comes as new numbers from King County show Constantine widening his lead over Hutchison, 58 percent to 42 percent.
Hours before the concession, Constantine, appearing on KING 5 Morning News, said he will name his transition team by Thursday.
"In addition to addressing head-on flood, flu and getting this budget balanced by the third week of November, we're taking on a reform agenda that's going to put King County on sound financial footing, provide for our economic recovery and bring a new spirit of service and customer service ethic to King County," Constantine said. "I'm putting together a transition team that's going to push that agenda forward. And, that team will be announced tomorrow."
Constantine, who has been in elected office since 1997, has served on the King County Council since 2002 and is currently the council chair. He positioned himself as the experienced candidate who has the knowledge of county government to make the tough choices during the economic crisis.
When asked where he would start making cuts to balance the budget, Constantine said it would first come from the administration.
"I called for a ten percent cut to the Council and a 15 percent to the Executive. That means a lot of reduced positions, that means I'll be hiring fewer people than the last executive had to help him carry out his agenda," Constantine said during his KING5 appearance. "And, that's fine. I think we have the talent to be able to move forward with fewer folks but with more focus."
Constantine said he believes the county can keep front line services alive without raising taxes.