Gary Fineout, a veteran political reporter in Florida, has been hired by The Associated Press to cover legislative and political news from the state's Tallahassee bureau.
Fineout has spent his entire 22-year career in the capital, having worked for the Tallahassee Democrat, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the New York Times' regional newspapers and The Miami Herald. He has spent the past three years as a freelance reporter working for various media outlets, including the AP and the New York Times.
His stories for the Herald in 2005 about how lobbyists were paying for trips and parties for state legislators led to changes in Florida law.
The appointment was announced Friday by South Editor Lisa Marie Pane, Florida Chief of Bureau Jim Baltzelle and Florida News Editor Terry Spencer.
"Florida always seems to find itself at the center of key moments in American politics, never more so than during presidential campaign years. That's especially true in 2012 since the state will be hosting the Republican National Convention. Gary's reporting chops will be a significant asset to AP's coverage," Pane said. "Fineout will be a welcome addition to an already-strong bureau led by Correspondent Brendan Farrington."
"Gary's reporting depth, sourcing and innate curiosity will add greatly to the Florida AP report, which is exactly the kind of investigative journalism we need in Tallahassee," Baltzelle said. "I couldn't be more pleased."
Fineout is a graduate of Florida State University.