WASHINGTON — McClatchy correspondent Rob Hotakainen was named Washington's top regional reporter Wednesday by the Washington Press Club Foundation.
He was honored for a series of stories written for the Sacramento Bee and The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, Calif.
The stories included a look at honeybee lobbyists and a tale of congressional funding for a tattoo-removal program in California. He also wrote about a new Ronald Reagan statue at the U.S. Capitol and about Sen. Dianne Feinstein's work to protect individual undocumented immigrants through legislation known as "private bills."
"His reporting underscores the importance of having knowledgeable and experienced journalists in Washington keeping an eye on what legislators and regulators are doing with our money," said John Walcott, the McClatchy Washington bureau chief.
"Because California is the eighth largest economy in the world and the most populous state in the union, it's especially important to have a reporter as good as Rob walking the beat," Walcott said.
Hotakainen, 53, a native of Minnesota, joined McClatchy in 1999.
The David Lynch Regional Reporting award is given each year to a reporter who covers the nation's capital for regional newspapers around the country. It was awarded Wednesday night at the foundation's annual Congressional Dinner.
Past winners from McClatchy include Michael Doyle, who reports for the Modesto Bee, the Fresno Bee and the Merced Sun-Star in California; and David Lightman, a congressional correspondent who won the award when he reported for the Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper in Connecticut.
McClatchy's Washington bureau has 25 reporters serving 30 newspapers from Florida to Alaska.
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