SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Kathleen Ronayne, the politics and government reporter in New Hampshire for The Associated Press who last year helped lead coverage of the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, has been promoted to supervisory correspondent in Sacramento.
In her new role, Ronayne will oversee AP's largest statehouse bureau. She also will have a leadership role in political coverage in California, including the 2018 election that features a crowded field to replace outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown.
Her appointment was announced Thursday by West Region News Director Anna Johnson, who oversees AP's all-formats coverage in 13 states.
"Kathleen has incredible news judgment and a clear vision for the critical correspondent position. We are eager to have her lead our top-notch team in Sacramento," Johnson said.
Ronayne joined AP in 2014 after working as a statehouse reporter for The Concord Monitor, the state capital newspaper in New Hampshire. With AP, she was responsible for coverage of the 424-member state Legislature — the nation's largest — and reported on two of the most competitive U.S. Senate races in the country in 2014 and 2016.
Like California, both of New Hampshire's U.S. senators are Democratic women — Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.
Ronayne served as AP's eyes on the ground throughout the 2016 New Hampshire primary, offering insight into the mood of voters and recognizing the emergence of the opioid crisis as a major political issue in the state.
She later covered the campaigns of Republican presidential contender John Kasich and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, traveling with the Virginia senator to swing states around the country.
Her coverage of Kaine offered a fresh look at the Democratic ticket, including Kaine's role as an emissary to donors skeptical of Hillary Clinton. At the Democratic National Convention, her reporting from the floor highlighted underlying racial tensions between black Clinton delegates and white Bernie Sanders' backers.
Ronayne's work has twice been recognized in the New Hampshire Press Association Best Media Contest.
She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in journalism and political science and was an award-winning reporter and editor at The Daily Orange.
Ronayne starts work in Sacramento on June 1.