Sept. 30, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
AP exposes candidate’s lies; upends one of the year’s most competitive congressional races
This AP exclusive started with a tip: A Republican nominee in Ohio had made questionable claims about his tenure in the Air Force.
J.R. Majewski told voters he was a combat veteran with a tour of duty in Afghanistan, but reporters Brian Slodysko and James LaPorta, joined by investigative researcher Randy Herschaft, reported extensively using public documents, expert interviews and a survey of former employers, revealing that among multiple misrepresentations, Majewski did not deploy to Afghanistan but instead spent six-months loading planes in Qatar. He was also demoted and barred from reenlisting.
The story was a hit with readers and had rival news outlets citing AP’s exclusive, while the Republican Party pulled its advertising money from Majewski, essentially giving up on his race.
For deep source work and dogged reporting that exposed a political candidate’s blatant lies about his record, Slodysko, LaPorta and Herschaft take AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.