Susan Hutchison

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Susan Hutchison
Personal details
Born Susan Sylvester
(1954-03-24) March 24, 1954 (age 62)
Fairfield, California, U.S.
Spouse(s) Andy Hutchison
(m. 1977–present)
Children 2 sons
Parents LTG George H. Sylvester, USAF
Elaine Winderling Sylvester[1]
Residence Seattle, Washington
Alma mater University of Florida
Profession philanthropy, Executive Director; journalism, television news

Susan Sylvester Hutchison (born March 24, 1954) is the Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, having been elected in August 2013 and re-elected in January 2015.[2] [3] She is a former television news anchor and former political candidate in Seattle, Washington.[4]

Hutchison's 25-year career as a journalist began at KITV news in Honolulu and continued at KIRO-TV news in Seattle, where she received five regional Emmy Awards. In 2013, she was elected as chair of the Washington State Republican Party on August 24.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Born Susan Sylvester at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, Hutchison's 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 brat and the second of three children,[1] 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,[8] she enrolled at the University of Florida in Gainesville and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1975.[9][10]

Broadcasting 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 a subsidiary 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 later 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]

Charity work[edit]

Hutchison is the former Executive Director of the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences. She led the $100 million foundation from its inception, becoming executive director in 2003.[11] [12] The foundation provided grants for projects in arts, science, and education totaling over $100 million, under the theme of Access to Excellence.[13]

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.[13] 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.[14][15]

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 10 people appointed by King County Executive Ron Sims to the King County Independent Task Force on Elections, created to make recommendations to reform the election process after the contested gubernatorial election of 2004.[16]

When Sims stepped down in April 2009, Hutchison announced her candidacy for the non-partisan race for King County Executive.[17] Hutchison won the primary election with 37% of the votes and advanced to the general election against Dow Constantine, who won in the November election.[18][19]

In October 2016, Hutchison referred to the controversy around Trump's 2005 recordings with Billy Bush by saying, "He [Trump] was a Democrat at the time and he was channeling Bill Clinton." Hutchison received some criticism from other Washington state Republican politicians for these remarks.[20]


In 1977, 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.[1][7][21]


  1. ^ a b c "George Sylvester (1927–2015)". Palm Beach Post. (Florida). (obituary). March 5, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Susan Hutchison elected chair of state Republican Party" Seattle Times, 24 August 2013, retrieved 24-08-2013
  3. ^ "Susan Hutchison re-elected to lead state GOP" Seattle Times, 20 January 2015, retrieved 18-11-2016
  4. ^ McKay, Floyd (November 3, 2009). "Have Republicans found a path to reclaim some high state offices?". Crosscut. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  5. ^ Brunner, Jim (August 24, 2013). "Susan Hutchison elected chair of state Republican Party". Seattle Times. Retrieved November 2, 2014. 
  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. ^ "Classmate profiles". Annandale High School Class of 1972. Retrieved November 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Washington - communigator - Fall 2001". Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  10. ^ "Elections Database - The News Tribune". Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  11. ^ Payne, Patti (February 28, 2013). "$100M Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences closes on schedule". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  12. ^ Regina Hackett, "Charles Simonyi gives arts and sciences a big boost", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10 January 2009, retrieved 20-08-2009
  13. ^ a b "Susan Hutchison - Charles Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  14. ^ Shapiro, Nina (June 2, 2009). "Susan Hutchison: No Answers, Lots of Questions". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  15. ^ Joel Connelly, "King Co. exec race heats up in springtime", Opinion Column, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 1, 2009, retrieved 19-08-2009
  16. ^ "Independent Task Force Releases Report to Reform King County Elections Process; Recommendations...", Business Wire, 27 July 2005
  17. ^ Gregg, Deirdre (April 8, 2009). "Ex-TV anchor Hutchison running for King County Executive". Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle). Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  18. ^ "Hutchison, Constantine Advance In King Co. Exec Race". August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  19. ^ "Hutchison concedes in King Co exec race". KOMO-TV News. November 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  20. ^ "He was channeling Bill Clinton: Wash. GOP chair blames Democrats for Trump's comments", KOMO News, 10 October 2016
  21. ^ "Susan Hutchison". Washington State Republican Party. Retrieved November 2, 2014.