Capitol Hill Broadcasters Compete in RTCA Runoff

Jason Donner, Ben Siegel and Kelsey Snell elected to committee, fourth position to be decided next week

Broadcast journalists on Capitol Hill will vote in a runoff on Dec. 19 for the final position on the Radio-Television Correspondent's Association. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Runoff elections aren’t just for Mississippi and Louisiana — radio and television correspondents on Capitol Hill will vote in a runoff on Dec. 19 for the final position on the Radio-Television Correspondents Association.

Members of the RTCA, the primary organization promoting access for broadcasters on Capitol Hill, voted Thursday to elect the group’s executive committee. Seven candidates ran to fill four vacancies.

Three of the slots were filled after vote counting concluded Thursday evening, just as the Radio-TV and photographers holiday parties were getting underway.

Fox News Capitol Hill producer Jason Donner was elected RTCA chairman with 132 votes. Ben Siegel of ABC and Kelsey Snell of NPR decisively won executive committee seats with 131 and 113 votes, respectively.

The runoff election next week will be a face off between Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Paul Courson and The Associated Press’ Padma Rama, who each earned 101 votes.

Committee members were told Thursday evening that the tie for the fourth seat would be decided during an executive committee meeting Friday, but just after midnight the committee announced the runoff election.

“All credentialed members are invited to vote, even if you voted in the original election this week,” advised Ellen Eckert, deputy director of the Senate Radio & Television Correspondents Gallery, in the overnight email to members.

Both candidates said they would push for expansion of video access on Capitol Hill. There are many locations where still photography is allowed and reporters are permitted to interview lawmakers, but video recording is not permitted.

Thomas McKinless contributed to this report.Watch: The ‘Fun’ in Dysfunction, iPhone Confusion and the Sound of Silence: Congressional Hits and Misses

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