Six Journalists Join Times Campaign 2020 Team

Tyrone Beason, Melanie Mason, Seema Mehta, Matt Pearce, Chris Keller and Rebecca Bryant will bolster the 2020 Campaign team.
(Tyrone Beason, Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times; Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Managing Editor Scott Kraft made the following announcement.

We are pleased to announce several additions to the Campaign 2020 team, led by senior editor Millie Quan in Los Angeles and Washington Bureau Chief David Lauter.

Tyrone Beason is joining us from the Seattle Times as a reporter on the team. Over the past decade, Beason has been a writer for the Sunday magazine at the Seattle Times and, more recently, was a social-justice columnist. His award-winning work has explored questions of identity and personal values, an important perspective we know he’ll bring to our presidential coverage. He also wrote about the excitement and angst over the startling pace of social and economic change in the Seattle area. Beason led a project, “Portraits of Homelessness,” that invited residents of homeless encampments to share their stories in their own words. He combined their handwritten diaries with his own essay in a compelling web presentation. He grew up in rural Kentucky, received a degree in journalism at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and joined the Seattle Times in 1995 as an intern. He stayed at the paper and covered growing suburban communities, business and features.

The Campaign 2020 reporting staff already includes Mark Barabak in the Bay Area and Michael Finnegan in Los Angeles, as well as Janet Hook and Evan Halper in Washington.


Others Times staffers joining the team in Los Angeles include:

Melanie Mason

Mason has moved from the Sacramento bureau to Los Angeles. She came to The Times in 2011 as a money and politics reporter based in the Washington bureau. She covered the 2012 presidential campaign with a focus on super PACs and mega-donors. In 2013, Mason joined the Sacramento bureau to report on state politics and government, then returned to national politics for a stint on the 2016 presidential trail. The following year, she led coverage of the #MeToo movement in the Capitol, undertaking several investigations into legislators who faced misconduct allegations.

Seema Mehta


Mehta returns to the staff from a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she studied the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the Midwest and its voters. She previously covered the 2008, 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns for The Times, as well as multiple gubernatorial, Senate and mayoral races.

Matt Pearce

Pearce spent the last 6½ years on the national desk, where he covered both breaking news and spot investigations. During the last presidential election, he reported that Donald Trump had tried to fire female employees at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes for not being pretty enough. Most recently, Pearce revealed that the CalPERS state pension fund appeared to be the largest investor in the National Enquirer, the tabloid that helped boost Trump to office.

Chris Keller


Keller is joining the team to drive digital and visual storytelling for The Times’ election coverage. He will work with the campaign staff and with reporters and editors across departments to report, coordinate and build digital and interactive approaches to our coverage, using his background in reporting, editing, data visualization and programming.

Rebecca Bryant

Bryant, an assistant editor on the National/Foreign desk, is moving to the politics desk through 2020 to edit coverage of the presidential election. A native Floridian, she first came to The Times as a stringer in the Valley edition just in time to help cover the 1994 Northridge earthquake. She later worked at Newsday and freelanced while living in Mexico, before returning to The Times in 2003.

Further announcements will follow as we continue to build our Campaign 2020 team.