Arizona News Service will lose a veteran member of its newsroom later this month when Barry Gartell, the editor of the Arizona Legislative Report, retires and moves to suburban Boston.
“Barry will be truly missed. He is our fountain of knowledge about political happenings in Arizona. I always enjoyed asking him some off-the-wall question about Arizona politics and he would often know the answer or quickly find it,” said Arizona News Service Vice President & Publisher Ginger Lamb.
Gartell said the decision to retire was not an easy one.
“I feel a mix of emotions: gratitude to Dolan for paying me to do what I love, sadness at acknowledging the end of a chapter in my life and, of course, anticipation at what lies ahead. As I move on, it will be the people here that I will miss the most,” he said.
Gartell will be retiring Sept. 23. He joined Arizona News Service in 2003 as the assistant editor of the Legislative Report and the Yellow Sheet Report, working under ANS Publisher Emeritus Ned Creighton. After Creighton and his wife, Diana, sold the company to Dolan Media in 2004, Gartell became editor of both publications.
In recent years, he has also edited Times Past, a book on Arizona history published by Arizona News Service, written political and electoral profiles of the state’s legislative and congressional districts, developed an elections database and summarized legislation for Legislation On Line Arizona.
Before joining Arizona News Service, Gartell was a lobbyist for Arizona Association of Counties for 15 years. He also was a lobbyist for the Government Information Technology Agency.
He said he had been a longtime subscriber to all Arizona News Service publications during his time lobbying and had become good friends with Ned Creighton.
“In 2003, I was one of many in state government who had been laid off as a consequence of a change in administrations. Ned offered me a job, evidently thinking that my experience at the Legislature would compensate for my lack of training as a journalist. How wrong he was!” Gartell said.
Gartell was married Sept. 4 and is retiring to Gloucester, Mass., to join his wife, who works for Boston University and plans to work for two more years.
“If I want to actually live with my wife, I need to move to Gloucester. After she retires, we will re-evaluate where we want to live,” he said.
Regardless of where the couple ultimately lives, he said they plan to travel to Asia and Europe. Gartell also said he hopes to write a book.
“I’ve always wanted to write a mystery novel, set at the Arizona Legislature and full of all the things for which politics is famous: scandal, fraud, sex, opportunistic politicians, intrigue — all the stuff that sells novels and attracts big dollar movie adaptations,” he said.