Susan Hutchison

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Susan Hutchison
2018 Candidate for U.S. Senate
Personal details
Susan Sylvester

(1954-03-24) March 24, 1954 (age 65)
Fairfield, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Andy Hutchison (m. 1976)
EducationUniversity of Florida (BA)
WebsiteCampaign website

Susan Hutchison (born March 24, 1954) is an American former television news journalist, former Chair of the Seattle Symphony, and former Executive Director of the $100 million Charles Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences in Seattle, Washington.

Hutchison has served on the boards of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Children's Hospital, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the Salvation Army.

Hutchison spent most of her 25-year career as a journalist at KIRO-TV news in Seattle, where she received five Emmy Awards for writing and producing. But was terminated from KIRO-TV for falsely reporting an illness in July 2002. She later countered by suing for discrimination.[1]

Hutchison's husband, Andy, was an executive with the Boeing Company.

Hutchison served as Chair of the Washington State Republican Party for five years [2][3] and was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2018, losing to incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Hutchison was born Susan Sylvester at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, the daughter of Elaine (Winderling) and George Sylvester.[5] Her father was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. A 1949 West Point graduate, he flew transports, then became a fighter pilot in the mid-1960s and commanded an F-4 squadron in South Vietnam at Da Nang.[6][7] As a military daughter and the second of three children,[8] she was raised in various locations and attended Niceville High School in the panhandle of Florida and transferred in 1970 to Annandale High School in Annandale, Virginia, a suburb southwest of Washington, D.C. After graduation in 1972,[9] she enrolled at the University of Florida in Gainesville and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1975.[10][11]

Journalism career[edit]

Hutchison began her journalism career writing a daily sports article for the Florida Alligator student newspaper. Upon graduation from college in 1975, she was hired by an affiliate of the American Broadcasting Company. In 1978, she was hired as the weekend sports anchor and producer for KITV news in Honolulu, Hawaii.[6] She became the weekend news anchor, and then the weekday evening news anchor and producer.[6] After being spotted by a Seattle television executive, Hutchison was hired in January 1981 as a TV news anchor for the CBS affiliate in Seattle, KIRO-TV.[6] She worked as the evening anchor for more than 20 years, earning five regional Emmy Awards.[6]


Hutchison was the Executive Director of the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, leading the $100 million foundation from its inception.[12][13] The foundation provided grants for projects in arts, science, and education totaling over $100 million, under the theme of Access to Excellence.[14]

Hutchison serves as an officer of the following boards: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington, DC), Finance Chair (present) of Young Life International, Vice Chair (present) All-Star Orchestra, Vice President (present) and Chair (2006-2009) Seattle Symphony, and on the following boards: Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation, Discovery Institute, and Salvation Army.[14] She also has been a spokesperson for the American Leprosy Mission, Northwest Medical Teams, Job Corps, and March of Dimes, and has emceed charitable auctions, fundraising events and dinners.[15][16]

Her civic involvement includes the Governor’s A+ Commission on Education, National Collegiate Athletic Association Committee on Compliance, the King County Independent Task Force on Elections, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for Seattle Community Colleges.

Political career[edit]

In 2005, Hutchison was one of ten people appointed by King County Executive Ron Sims to the King County Independent Task Force on Elections, commissioned to make recommendations to improve the election process after the contested gubernatorial election of 2004.[17]

When Sims stepped down in April 2009, Hutchison announced her candidacy for the non-partisan office of King County Executive.[18] Hutchison won the primary election with 37% of the vote and finished second in the general election against Dow Constantine, with just over 40% of the vote.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

In 1976, she married high school classmate Andy Hutchison, an executive for the Boeing Company. He is a retired Marine Corps colonel and a 1976 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. They have two sons who graduated from Seattle public schools. Her father, George H. Sylvester (1927–2015), retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1981 as a lieutenant general.[8][7][21]


  1. ^ Young, Bob (2009-08-07). "Records: KIRO says 'sick' Hutchison went canoeing". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  2. ^ "Susan Hutchison elected chair of state Republican Party". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Susan Hutchison re-elected to lead state GOP". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  4. ^ McKay, Floyd (November 3, 2009). "Have Republicans found a path to reclaim some high state offices?". Crosscut. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e A.J. McWhorter, "Emmy-winning anchor got TV break in Hawaii", Flashback, Honolulu Star Bulletin, 1 June 2009, retrieved 20-08-2009
  7. ^ a b "George H. Sylvester". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "George Sylvester (1927–2015)". Palm Beach Post. (Florida). (obituary). March 5, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  9. ^ "Classmate profiles". Annandale High School Class of 1972. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "Washington - communigator - Fall 2001". Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  11. ^ "Elections Database - The News Tribune". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  12. ^ Payne, Patti (February 28, 2013). "$100M Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences closes on schedule". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  13. ^ Regina Hackett, "Charles Simonyi gives arts and sciences a big boost", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10 January 2009, retrieved 20-08-2009
  14. ^ a b "Susan Hutchison - Charles Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2009-06-29.
  15. ^ Shapiro, Nina (June 2, 2009). "Susan Hutchison: No Answers, Lots of Questions". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  16. ^ Joel Connelly, "King Co. exec race heats up in springtime", Opinion Column, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 1, 2009, retrieved 19-08-2009
  17. ^ "Independent Task Force Releases Report to Reform King County Elections Process; Recommendations...", Business Wire, 27 July 2005
  18. ^ Gregg, Deirdre (April 8, 2009). "Ex-TV anchor Hutchison running for King County Executive". Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle). Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  19. ^ "Hutchison, Constantine Advance In King Co. Exec Race". August 18, 2009. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  20. ^ "Hutchison concedes in King Co exec race". KOMO-TV News. November 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  21. ^ "Susan Hutchison". Washington State Republican Party. Retrieved November 2, 2014.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kirby Wilbur
Chair of the Washington Republican Party
Succeeded by
Caleb Heimlich
Preceded by
Michael Baumgartner
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Washington
(Class 1)

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