John Ellis, The Bee’s political reporter, is taking a new job with Fresno Mayor-elect Lee Brand’s administration.
Ellis will leave The Bee in mid-January to become governmental affairs manager for the new Fresno mayor.
Ellis started at The Bee in 2000. He previously worked at the Wichita Eagle for three years. Ellis also worked at the Post-Tribune in Gary, Ind., the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Oroville Mercury-Register. He has a degree in mass communications from Chico State, where he is in the journalism Hall of Fame.
“John brought a deep understanding of government to our political reporting and developed significant sources over the years that gave his stories texture and context,” Bee Executive Editor Jim Boren said. “We will miss his professionalism and mostly his friendship.”
In his beat, Ellis covered campaigns, elections and political trends and controversies. He was The Bee’s lead writer this year when President Barack Obama visited Yosemite National Park over the Father’s Day weekend, and also led coverage of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton when they brought their presidential campaigns to Fresno before the June primary.
He also covered President George W. Bush, as well as congressional representatives, California governors and state legislators.
In his governmental affairs role, Ellis will represent Brand to Fresno, appearing on the mayor’s behalf at meetings of community groups. He also will help the mayor determine policy and positions on local issues.
Ellis is married and the father of two children. His wife, Erin Kennedy, is a senior communications strategist who handles corporate marketing and communications for Community Medical Centers.