Dave Ammons, the “Dean” of state political reporters in Olympia and a 37-year veteran state government correspondent for the Associated Press is stepping down. After almost four decades covering the state legislature, Governor’s office and state government in general, Ammons (a UW Communications grad) will become a state employee himself, as he assumes the job of chief spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed.
As the senior reporter for the AP news service in Olympia, Dave’s stories and columns have been picked up by a large percentage of the newspapers and radio stations in the state. In an era where only the largest daily newspapers can afford to hire their own Olympia correspondents, Ammons has essentially been the journalistic voice of Olympia for much of Washington State.
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in Olympia that doesn’t admire, respect and plain like the guy. As both a legislative staffer and lobbyist, I always found Dave to be fair, balanced, inquisitive, discrete, and a gentleman through and through. His longevity also gives him some institutional memory and perspective that is beginning to be a dangerously diminishing commodity in the state capitol. Over the past few years, he has also found a niche as resident host of the TVW program “Inside Olympia” where he has proved to be a patient and capable interviewer of both prominent elected and appointed government officials.
Here’s a really nice piece about Dave written seven years ago by David Postman, chief political reporter for the Seattle Times.