State Relations

August 28, 2008

Seattle Times Olympia Reporter to Step Down

Here’s a blog post I wish I hadn’t read today.

Ralph Thomas, one of the Seattle Times political reporters who works out of the Olympia bureau is leaving the paper to work for the Katz Communications Group.  As his co-worker and office buddy David Postman points out in his entry this morning, Ralph is not only one of the best reporters I have seen in the state capitol in two decades, but he’s just a really, really nice guy.  It doesn’t even bother me that he kicks my butt everytime we play golf, because he is the first one to compliment you on a good shot and the first one to cheer you up when you duff it.

Not only is Ralph perhaps one of the hardest working and fairest reporters I have been around, he also has an uncanny ability to make you want to talk to him even when you are incredibly stressed out and busy.  Reporters call when something major is about to happen or has just happened and if they are calling you, it’s because you are in the middle of it and probably know something.  That means you are busy, high strung and worried about saying the wrong thing.  Somehow, Ralph always knew how to put you at ease and seemed willing to let you dole out the information at your pace (even though I always knew he was on a deadline and had his own pressures to deal with).  Sounds simple but let me tell you, its not that easy to get staffers or lobbyists to really open up.  His genuine fairness, accuracy and nice guy approach made him one of the best in the capitol press corps.

He will be missed — but maybe he’s got more time for golf.