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Nicholas Riccardi named AP West political reporter

DENVER (AP) – Nicholas Riccardi, a former investigative reporter and bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, has been appointed political reporter for The Associated Press and will be responsible for driving election coverage across the U.S. West.

The appointment was announced Thursday by West Region Editor Traci Carl.

“Nick is an experienced political reporter who knows the West, its issues and its key players,” Carl said. “We are excited to have him join AP and help set the news agenda during this year’s presidential race.”

Riccardi will work from a base in Denver to drive political coverage across the West. He will work with AP’s political beat reporters and statehouse correspondents to set the news agenda and in non-election years will drive government accountability coverage.

Riccardi will report to Jim Anderson, the AP’s news editor for the Rocky Mountain region.

“Riccardi brings a wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of a region that is crucial to the presidential election and beyond,” said Jim Clarke, bureau chief for the Rocky Mountain region. “He is an aggressive reporter with investigative instincts and will direct a strategic, breaking news report across all formats for the AP and its members.”

Riccardi, 39, joined the Times in 1994 in Southern California. He served as an investigative reporter and beat writer on Los Angeles County government and then became the paper’s Denver bureau chief in 2005, reporting on politics, immigration policy, energy and other top issues for a nine-state region. Riccardi led the Times’ coverage of the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabriel Giffords in 2011 and covered much of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He also helped cover the war in Iraq.

Most recently, Riccardi led the Times’ bureau in Sacramento, supervising California state government coverage and coordinating the bureau’s online, investigative and enterprise reporting as well as daily spot coverage.

A native of New York, Riccardi holds a degree in English from Oberlin College in Ohio. He is married and has a 3-year-old son.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)