It is with great pleasure I announce the promotion of Erica Werner to AP’s congressional correspondent as we enter an extremely important fall and winter.Erica has distinguished herself with a combination of strong source reporting, political smarts, deep understanding of policy issues and clear, authoritative writing. She will focus on Hill leadership, top issues and congressional elections, working closely with colleagues across the AP and with Congress news editor Donna Cassata.The Associated Press excels when we work collaboratively to bring together the best journalism from the Hill, the White House, the agencies, the country and the campaign — to break news and dominate on big stories. Erica has been doing that seamlessly for years and we are excited about the productive partnerships ahead, with White House correspondent Julie Pace and countless others, with Erica in this new role.Congress is a critically important story, but also an opaque and hard-to-pierce one for outsiders (that is, almost the whole world). Erica, Donna and their colleagues will work in coming years to figure out the best ways to tell this story, in accessible ways our readers and viewers can embrace, in words, photos and video. We will encourage experimentation and new approaches, like the “readers’ guide” Erica did this weekend on the Iran deal, while always upholding AP’s mission of accuracy, objectivity and speed.Erica joined the AP in Los Angeles in 2000 after two years at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She came to Washington three years later after covering California’s gubernatorial recall and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election as governor. She covered California and Nevada issues on the Hill for five years, then moved to cover the health care bill, where she broke a lot of news. She spent two years at the White House before returning to the Hill to cover immigration and other topics, again scoring notable beats.Erica is a 1995 graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Romance languages and literature.Please join me in congratulating her.
Erica succeeds veteran Capitol Hill journalist David Espo, who recently retired.