The career of Dick Pust at KGY radio in Olympia WA spanned some 51 years, and in that time he became a fixture in the town southwest of Tacoma, which in turn is southwest of Seattle. Soon he may become even more of a fixture, as the municipality’s duly-elected mayor.
Pust had been serving as GM and had a primary presence on the air when he was informed that the station could no longer afford paying a GM and asked him to continue on as an airstaffer only.
He declined. Fans started a movement to get him to run for mayor, and he told local news sources that in fact, that is something he always wanted to do – but never could, because of FCC rules and regulations.
However, there is nothing in the FCC preventing Pust from pursuing non-elective civic-minded activities, and he has done a lot of that over the course of his lengthy radio career.
The message from the organization looking to draft him, as reported by local sources, was this: “For nearly 50 years, Olympia residents set their watches by two things: the Olympia Brewery whistle and Dick Pust welcoming the morning on his AM radio show. Now that both are fond memories of the past, join in the effort to draft Dick Pust for Olympia Mayor.”
The current mayor has indicated that he has no plans to run for re-election. The office comes up for a vote this coming November.
With 51 years at his radio station, it’s true that Pust has racked up some miles on his own body, and in fact, he has reached the age 70 benchmark. That only has locals remembering similarly-aged Ronald Reagan’s refusal to use the relative youth and inexperience of his opponent against him back in 1984, when the opponent was Walter Mondale.
RBR-TVBR observation: Reading several local accounts of the candidate, it is clear that locals simply feel that they know him and trust him. That is the beauty of radio, and we believe it is something the medium most protect and foster if it hopes to continue to compete with all the bells and whistles that digital outlets can muster.