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Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: George Skelton

Illustration by Chris Shary

83. George Skelton

Few journalists know California politics better than L.A. Times columnist George Skelton. He’s a regular on this list, and deservedly so. He writes with concision and assurance, and he goes his own way, paying little heed to how others are pontificating. He doesn’t use his columns to push his political views – whatever they are – and doesn’t hesitate to offer a spanking or kudos to those who deserve it. And sometimes his columns clearly state the obvious – not as easy as one might think. Recently, he wrote that Gavin Newsom was “moving into position to possibly run for president, regardless of what he says or tells himself.” Obviously true, we think, but you’d be amazed how many newsies, pundits and others discounted a Newsom run as out of the question. Newsom, we’re told, reads Skelton regularly, and as the election cycles move forward you can bet he’ll be watching him even more closely. He worked at various papers, including the defunct Sacramento Union, and went to the Times in the 1970s, where he covered politics and polling, among other issues.

See an Oral History of George Skelton here.

Updated Aug. 9, 2022

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