Christina Almeida Cassidy, the AP's news editor for Georgia, has been named lead Statehouse reporter for the state.
The appointment, announced Thursday by South Regional Editor Lisa Marie Pane, expands the news cooperative's Statehouse operation at an especially key time while the legislative session is under way and ahead of what will be a busy 2014 campaign season.
Almeida Cassidy, 33, will focus on the education beat and other coverage related to state agencies, with an emphasis on exploring how tax dollars are spent.
"There is perhaps no more important role for a journalist than to serve as a reality check for the decisions our government leaders make and to examine how tax dollars are spent," Pane said. "Christina's competitiveness and aggressiveness in seeking to break news are invaluable and will ensure the AP's coverage in this area is groundbreaking and distinctive."
Almeida Cassidy joined the news cooperative in 2001 as an intern in San Diego and transferred later that year to Los Angeles as a general assignment reporter. She moved in 2003 to the AP's Las Vegas bureau, where she worked for two years covering state politics and courts. She returned to Los Angeles in 2005 to cover growth and development, before becoming news editor for Montana and Wyoming in June 2007.
A native of Los Angeles, Almeida Cassidy graduated from the University of Southern California with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and political science.
She is married to Matt Cassidy and has a 9-year-old stepdaughter, Alicia.