Today, the state Senate took a few moments to honor and recognize a giant of Georgia political journalism; Dick Pettys. Pettys will be retiring at the end of the year after more than three decades of covering all aspects of Georgia politics.
In a rare moment, the Senate relaxed its rules to allow the longtime reporter the courtesy of walking down the chamber’s center aisle as he prepared to address the body not as a news-breaker but as a news-maker. Pettys’ remarks came after Senate Resolution 1199 was unanimously adopted honoring him for his long service of accurately providing the political news of the day to Georgians; first as a writer for the Associated Press and then as the editor of Insider Advantage Georgia.
Lt. Governor Casey Cagle had the following to say about Dick Pettys’ pending retirement:
“The response in the chamber today showed just how much the Senate respects and appreciates Dick Pettys. He has not only provided exceptional coverage of our capitol for many years, but he has also become a good and trusted friend to many of us. Our chamber simply will not be the same without him and I hope he knows how very much he will be missed.”
On a personal note, I’d like to share a story about Dick Pettys. On the first day of the 2007 session last year, as I walked onto the floor of the Georgia Senate for the first time, a tall gentleman wearing a dark blazer and a pair of khakis came up to me and said, “Andre, Dick Pettys. Nice to meet you. If you need any help this session, feel free to ask me and good luck.” Now of course, I’m paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of Dick Pettys’ words to me on January 8, 2007. Dick Pettys is one of those political news reporters that I admire and respect. And I honestly believe the Senate Press Gallery will seem just a little bit empty without him back there taking notes, interviewing lawmakers, and generally keeping people in the know of what’s going on under the Gold Dome.