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The Fix's Best State-Based Political Reporters

Calling all nominations for the best political reporter in each state! Photo by istock

Last week we asked Fixistas to name the best political reporters in each of the 50 states. And, as always, you delivered a flood of suggestions and recommendations.

We've aggregated them and the partial list of top political scribes is after the jump. We are still missing several states, however. Among them: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky (the great Pat Crowley has moved on), Louisiana, Maryland, Montana and Wyoming.

Got a nomination from one of the states we are still missing? Don't see a reporter listed below that should be? The comments section is open for business.

Alabama: New York Times' Dana Beyerle, Montgomery Advertiser's Sebastien Kitchen

Arkansas: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Michael Wickline, Arkansas Times' John Brummett

California: San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci, Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times' Mark Z. Barabak, Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters, Los Angeles Times' Shane Goldmacher

Colorado: Denver Post's Lynn Bartels , 9News' Adam Schrager

Connecticut: Hartford Courant's Chris Keating, Hartford Courant's Jon Lender

Delaware: Delaware Grapevine's Celia Cohen, Wilmington News-Journal's Harry Themal

Florida: St. Petersburg Times' Adam Smith, Associated Press' Brendan Farrington, Miami Herald's Beth Reinhard

Georgia: Atlanta Journal Constitution's Aaron Gould Sheinin

Idaho: Spokesman Review's Betsy Russell

Indiana: Indianapolis Star's Mary Beth Schneider, Louisville Courier-Journal's Lesley Stedman Weidenbener

Illinois: Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson. Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet, Crain's Greg Hinz, Capitol Fax's Rich Miller, Chicago Sun-Times' Carol Marin, Associated Press' Deanna Bellandi, Chicago Sun-Times' Abdon Pallasch

Iowa: Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson, Des Moines Register's Tom Beaumont, Associated Press' Mike Glover, WHO TV's Dave Price, Lee Enterprise's Ed Tibbets and Charlotte Eby

Maine: Maine Public Broadcasting's A.J. Higgins.

Massachusetts: Associated Press' Glen Johnson, Boston Herald's Hillary Chabot, Statehouse News Services' Jim O'Sullivan

Michigan: WKAR's Tim Skubick, Detroit Free-Press' Chris Christoff Associated Press' Kathy Barks Hoffman, Gongwer News Service's Stephanie Cepak, Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry,'s Peter Luke

Minnesota: Associated Press' Brian Bakst, St. Paul Pioneer Press' Bill Salisbury, WCCO's Erik Eskola, Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck, Strib's Rachel Stassen-Berger

Mississippi: Jackson Clarion-Ledger's Sid Salter, Northeast Mississippi Daily News' Bobby Harrison.

Missouri: St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tony Messenger, Springfield News-Leader's Chad Livengood, KY3's David Catanese, St. Louis Beacon's Jo Mannies

Nebraska: Lincoln Journal-Star's Don Walton, Omaha World-Herald's Robin Tysver

Nevada: Las Vegas Sun's Jon Ralston

New Hampshire: Nashua Telegraph's Kevin Landrigan, Manchester Union Leader's John DiStaso, Valley News' John Gregg, NH Political Report's James Pindell

New Jersey: Newark Star Ledger's Josh Margolin, Associated Press' Angela Delli Santi

New Mexico:'s Heath Haussamen

New York: New York Post's Fred Dicker, New York Daily News' Liz Benjamin, New York Post's Maggie Haberman, New York Times' Danny Hakim

North Carolina: Raleigh News & Observer's Rob Christensen, WUNC's Laura Leslie

North Dakota: Associated Press' Dale Wetzel

Ohio: Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Steve Koff, Columbus Dispatch's Joe Hallett, Cincinnati Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson, Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mark Naymik, Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Tom Suddes

Oklahoma: KOSU's Michael Cross

Oregon: Oregonian's Jeff Mapes, Register Guard's David Steves, Associated Press' Brad Cain

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Inquirer's Thomas Fitzgerald, Allentown Morning-Call's John Micek

Rhode Island: WRNI's Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay

South Carolina: The State's John O'Connor

South Dakota: Rapid City-Journal's Kevin Woster

Tennessee: Knoxville News' Tom Humphrey

Texas: Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater, Houston Chronicle's R.J. Ratcliffe, Austin American-Statesman's Jason Embry, Texas Tribune's Emily Ramshaw, Texas Monthly's Paul Burka, Associated Press' Jay Root, Austin American Statesman's Gardner Selby.

Utah: Deseret News' Bob Bernick Jr, Salt Lake Tribune's Robert Gehrke

Vermont: Burlington Free-Press' Samuel Hemingway

Virginia: Associated Press' Bob Lewis, Ryan Nobles of NBC12

Washington: Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Joel Connelly, Seattle Times' Jim Brunner, Associated Press' Curt Woodward and Rachel LaCorte, Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Chris Grygiel

Wisconsin: The Wheeler Report's Dick Wheeler

West Virginia: West Virginia Watchdog's Steve Allen Adams

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2009; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Oklahoma: KOSU's Michael Cross rocks!

Posted by: kelburl | September 29, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

For CT - CT Radio Network's Mark Sims and Steve Kotchko

Posted by: dexterabernathy | September 29, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

There are several from CT that should make the list:

Keith Phaneuf - (Manchester) Journal Inquirer

Ken Dixon - Connecticut Post

Ted Mann - The (New London) Day

Sue Haigh - Hartford Bureau of the Associated Press

Posted by: dexterabernathy | September 29, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You can't forget Steve Wiegand of the Sacramento Bee for California.

Posted by: neversaylie | September 29, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

For Montana I would recommend Charles Johnson, best on your previous list, or Mike Dennison with the Helena Independent Record (and other Lee Newspapters).

Posted by: MTModerate | September 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Alex Roarty of PoliticsPA in Pennsylvania? Give me a break!

PoliticsPA is a fluff site run by a lobbying firm. He's no more a reporter than Steven Colbert.

Posted by: neversaylie | September 29, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Great AZ political reporters: Dan Nowicki with the Arizona Republic and Howard Fischer with Capitol Media Services.

Posted by: michellep1 | September 29, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

In Kansas: Dion Lefler of The Wichita Eagle

Posted by: jee1029 | September 28, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Carlos Guerra at the S.A. Express-News would have made my list but he upped and retired two weeks ago.

I still think Ken Herman is a worthy addition to the TX journalist list [Austin A-S].

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 28, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

For Kentucky, Al Cross is certainly the dean of political newspersons. But Tom Loftus of the Courier-Journal, and Beverly Fortune at the Herald Leader in Lexington both are pretty sharp.

Posted by: eburbage33 | September 28, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree with maryg1. Dan Nowicki is an outstanding political reporter in Arizona. He contributes many years of solid experience at the state and federal level. He also happens to be an extremely hard working individual who is passionate about the accuracy and balance of his reporting.

Posted by: copper10 | September 28, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

In Arizona, no one comes close to Dan Nowicki at the Arizona Republic. His political blog is well-read by political insiders (and outsiders) and his front-page political stories are not to be missed. He covered the McCain campaign thoroughly from a local perspective in 2008 and now focuses his attention on national politics as they relate to Arizona.

Posted by: maryg1 | September 28, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

For Kentucky:

Al Cross who is Rural Journalism Prof at UK and Courier Journal contributor.

Bill Bartleman also does a great job covering the Western side of the state for the Paducah Sun.

Posted by: mkf1 | September 28, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse


Phill Brooks of Missouri Digital News
Jason Rosenbaum of the Missouri Lawyers Weekly (formerly the Columbia Daily Tribune)

Posted by: NomeMike | September 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Kansas nomination:

Paul Soutar - Kansas Watchdog
a new online service at

Interesting piece on $2 billion in unencumbered cash at

Posted by: davetrabert | September 28, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought you were talking about print media, so I totally forgot my favorite Alaska television political reporter, Matt Felling. He's so far beyond the rest of AK TV news it's not even funny.

(Gossip: does it help his case that his girlfriend is Christy Harvey from Center for American Progress??? Yes, DC, Alaska has her now and you CAN'T have her back, MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Posted by: celticdivaak | September 28, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

New York:

Steve Kornacki at PolitickerNY is one of the best journalists in the field, in any state.

Posted by: ibenmeir | September 28, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if he's still there anymore, but Andy Shaw of ABC's Chicago affiliate was probably one of the best political reporters around for Illinois. But ABC Chicago ought to get a mention for Illinois.

Posted by: Corey_NY | September 28, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Definitely feel like you're missing Phil Trounstine in California from the blog calbuzz. One of the best sources for local and state politics out there.

Posted by: austenlc | September 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota -'s Doug Grow and Eric Black, and the folks at

Posted by: CoreyLAnderson | September 28, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse


WCCO-TV's Pat Kessler. He has a bead on state politics as well as any other of the reporters mentioned, and is the best TV capital reporter in the state.

Posted by: ubetcha489 | September 28, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Indiana -- Brian Howey, Howey Politics Indiana, formerly of Fort Wayne and Elkhart newspapers

Posted by: valpofan33 | September 28, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse


Kyle Melinn of City Pulse and MIRS News Service

Posted by: edwardlahoa | September 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mississippi - Sid Salter's definitely the top of the list. Bobby Harrison's paper is the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Some may list him, but he has a pretty strong bias.

Additional reporters

AP Mississippi - Emily Wagster Pettus
Sun Herald - Geoff Pender (

Posted by: jscms | September 28, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania - Alex Roarty of PoliticsPA (

Posted by: afeth | September 28, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Check out Virginia's only TV reporter covering the state capitol full time, Adam Rhew from WVIR TV in Charlottesville. Blog at

Posted by: nbennett1 | September 28, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think I'll let you refine your crib sheet on your own, Chris.

Posted by: justjoeking | September 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I think you're definitely missing Jeff Shapiro from the Richmond Times-Dispatch on the Virginia list.

Posted by: cfidd | September 28, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Alaska nominations:

1) Rachel D'Oro -- Alaska Associated Press

2) Sean Cockerham -- Anchorage Daily News

3) Kyle Hopkins -- Anchorage Daily News

Posted by: celticdivaak | September 28, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, all of those California newspapers are out of business this time next year.


Posted by: JakeD | September 28, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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