Long-time Associated Press State Capitol Correspondent Rachel La Corte is stepping down to take a new journalism job with Axios — after nearly two decades covering the Washington State Legislature and state government.
La Corte came from Florida. In the interview she talks about the stories she covered working from AP in that state, including the Elian Gonzalez child custody and immigration case, the 2000 Bush-Gore election recount in Florida, four hurricanes in six weeks, and more.
When she arrived in Washington, having never visited the state, La Corte was quickly thrust into covering our own election recount story: the 2004 Gregoire v. Rossi governor race, which led to three recounts and eventually a court case.
She recalls as other major stories she covered during her tenure: same-sex marriage; #metoo in the Legislature; the McCleary school funding debate which lasted years; the Republican takeover of the State Senate via the Senate Coalition Caucus; the firing of WA Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson; the AP’s public records lawsuit against the Legislature, which resulted from La Corte’s research into the issue; and more.