The State Board of Elections named a new spokesman Monday: Patrick Gannon, editor and columnist at The Insider State Government News Service.
The Insider is owned by The News & Observer, which frequently publishes Gannon’s reporting on state government. His weekly column for the Capitol Press Association has appeared in newspapers across the state.
“Pat’s reputation for fair and impartial reporting over a long career make him an ideal spokesperson for our agency during an important time in elections,” State Board of Elections executive director Kim Westbrook Strach said in a news release.
Gannon replaces former WRAL-TV anchor Jackie Hyland, who recently left the agency to take a private sector public relations job.
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Veteran journalist Paul T. O’Connor will be taking over Gannon’s Capitol Press Association column on an interim basis. O’Connor teaches at the School of Media and Journalism at UNC and wrote the column for 22 years.
The Insider plans to hire another journalist to replace Gannon, but that person won’t be involved in the weekly column, Insider general manager Clifton Dowell said.
Dowell praised Gannon’s work at The Insider. “Pat has a steady demeanor and a calm presence, and he’s been an asset all the way around,” Dowell said. “He’s as knowledgeable about the (Legislative) Building as anyone down there.”