Dick Pust for mayor? Support pours in for longtime KGY Radio broadcaster

Staff writerJanuary 6, 2011 

— OLYMPIA – A day after parting ways with KGY Radio, broadcaster Dick Pust was busy answering his phone Thursday, responding to community support after his 51-year career at the station abruptly ended.

That support spilled onto Facebook , where someone had created a “Dick Pust for Olympia mayor” page.

Pust, 70, said he had yet to see the Facebook page, but acknowledged that he might be interested in running for mayor.

“Especially in light of the fact that I wouldn’t have to run against a friend,” he said in reference to Mayor Doug Mah, who announced this week that he won’t run for re-election.

Still, Pust said he was unfamiliar with the political process and acknowledged that he’s never filled out any political forms.

The deadline to place someone’s name on the ballots for the primary and general elections is the first week of June, but people need to file candidate-registration forms with the state Public Disclosure Commission within two weeks of making a public declaration about running for elected office, spokeswoman Lori Anderson said. That candidate registration also applies to someone who starts raising or spending money toward a campaign, she said. Pust said he didn’t know who had created the Facebook page.

Meanwhile, he marveled at the number of phone calls he had received.

“Wow,” he said. “I had no idea I had so many friends.”

Others sent e-mails expressing support for Pust to The Olympian, including Stan Biles, a former Olympia mayor who now lives in Blue River, Ore., about an hour east of Eugene.

“The only comparison I can use is that Dick was to Olympia what Walter Cronkite was to the nation,” he wrote. “He was a trusted name.”

Virginia McCarty, founder and chief executive of a marketing firm based in Shelton, said she expects Pust to rebound and turn his situation into a new opportunity.

“He is more than KGY,” McCarty wrote in her e-mail. “He is a good man with a million-dollar voice and personality.”

Pust said radio stations also called him Thursday, including representatives from two undisclosed stations who asked whether he would be interested in working for them.

“I’m weighing all my options ,” Pust said. “I’m trying to recover from the shock and trying to move on. After 51 years, it’s hard.”

He said he had not heard from KGY on Thursday and said he wasn’t sure he would return to the station if asked.

“I don’t think I could do it; I think the cord has been severed,” he said. In the same breath, he added: “I don’t think they’d have me back. I just don’t know. My head’s all jumbled up right now.”

Pust’s last day at the station was Wednesday. Pust said he was fired; KGY Inc. President and Chief Executive Jennifer Kerry said Pust wouldn’t accept a lesser position at the station and chose to leave.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/bizblog

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