Ohio Lawmakers Pay Tribute To Dispatch Reporter Jim Siegel

Jun 12, 2019

Jim Siegel, a longtime Ohio Statehouse reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, died Tuesday at the age of 46.

Siegel was a native of eastern Ohio, and has covered the legislature since arriving at the newspaper in 2005. Like many of his stories, Siegel's final Dispatch article — a preview of the Ohio Senate budget — appeared on the front page of Tuesday's paper.

Siegel is also a familiar voice and face to WOSU listeners, appearing frequently on All Sides With Ann Fisher. He was also a regular guest on WOSU TV's Columbus On The Record, most recently on last Friday's panel.

"Jim was a newsman’s newsman — a professional who treated everyone with kindness and respect, even when pressing lawmakers on difficult questions," said Dispatch Editor Alan Miller in a statement to the paper. "And state officials treated him with respect because they knew that he was doing his job and that he would always be fair."

Indeed, Ohio lawmakers at all levels of government have paid their respects to Siegel.

"Jim was one of the most respected members of the Statehouse news corp," tweeted Gov. Mike DeWine late Tuesday night. "Jim had a gift for explaining the complexities of state government and the legislative process to all his readers. I will miss his insight and his reporting."

"He was a true professional. His questions were tough, but always fair," tweeted Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. "He always seemed to have scoop that no one else had, thanks to the relationships he built on both a professional and a personal level."

In a statement, House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) said Siegel was “a beloved figure on Capitol Square. I’m proud to have called Jim a friend.”

Siegel is survived by his wife and two teenage sons.

Below are more tributes to Siegel from his fellow journalists.