Posted in Announcements

AP announces political team for 2020

, by Lauren Easton

Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace today announced the team of reporters across the U.S. and in the nation’s capital who will cover the 2020 presidential race for The Associated Press.

Here is her memo to staff:

All, The 2020 presidential campaign is well underway, with more than a dozen Democrats declaring their candidacy and President Donald Trump actively campaigning for his reelection. The race already features a historic number of women and minority candidates, and big questions about the future of immigration policy, health care and the economy are being debated.
A voter retrieves her "I Voted" sticker after casting her ballot at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco, in Mt. Kisco, New York, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
No news organization is better positioned to cover this campaign than the AP. Our political team is based all across the country: in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, California, and several other states. Every day, our political team is talking to the voters who will decide this election and ensuring our coverage reflects the real debates happening in every region of the country. And we’ve expanded our efforts to integrate our Washington and state-based political coverage this cycle with the addition of a regional political editor, a position Kathleen Hennessey will assume in June.Our campaign coverage will be led by U.S. Political Editor Steven Sloan, who brings a wealth of ideas and smart analysis to our report every day. Steven will work closely with Kathleen, and they’ll both be assisted by nightside political editor Ashley Thomas. We also expect to add a video manager to our campaign team. Steve Peoples, who is covering his third presidential campaign for AP, steps into the role of chief political writer. Steve is a dogged reporter and talented writer, and I’m excited to have him take the lead in covering the 2020 campaign. Juana Summers, Elana Schor and Will Weissert lead our coverage of the Democratic field. They’ll be working hand-in-hand with our national political writers based throughout the country: Bill Barrow in the South, Tom Beaumont and Sara Burnett in the Midwest, Nick Riccardi in the West and Kathleen Ronayne in California. Bill, Tom, Sara, Nick and Kathleen will all be handling candidate coverage, but also paying particular attention to the broader political dynamics playing out in their regions. Brian Slodysko is covering the intersection of money and politics. And Errin Haines Whack, AP’s national race and ethnicity writer, has joined the politics team to cover demographics and diversity issues. We have a terrific crop of political reporters based in the early voting states: Alexandra Jaffe in Iowa, Hunter Woodall in New Hampshire, Meg Kinnard in South Carolina and Michelle Price in Nevada. We’re also lucky to have Paul Weber in Texas helping cover the candidates hailing from that state. White House reporter Zeke Miller is taking the lead on coverage of Trump’s 2020 campaign. White House reporters Catherine Lucey, Jon Lemire and Jill Colvin will also be taking on larger roles in campaign coverage in the coming months, as will senior video producers Tracy Brown and Kelly DaschleI also plan to keep my hand in campaign reporting as much as possible and look forward to seeing many of you on the road soon. And of course, a bedrock of AP’s political coverage is our race calling and AP VoteCast operations. Election Decision Editor Stephen Ohlemacher is the best in the business, and polling editor Emily Swanson and polling reporter Hannah Fingerhut are crucial partners as we try to explain the electorate to readers. Our campaign coverage will also include rich visual journalism from our photo and video teams. Our visual journalists will focus both on covering candidates — with an emphasis on live video from events across the country — and the voters in the communities that will decide the election.   Other members of the U.S. news team will have a hand in campaign coverage as we get deeper into the cycle. We’re also already working closely with the enterprise and investigative teams, as well as health care, immigration, economic and environmental beat reporters, who will help us explain and analyze the policies the candidates are pitching and the way these issues are animating the campaign. We’re off to a great start, and I look forward to more strong coverage in the months ahead. Julie