RON FOURNIER is chief political writer for The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization. He covers presidential and congressional campaigns, while tracking political trends in federal, state and local governments. Fournier came to the political beat from the White House, where he ran the AP's four-person staff from January 2001 to May 2003. He had previously covered the White House from January 1993 to 1998. Fournier is a three-time recipient of the prestigious White House Correspondents Association's Merriman Smith award, winning in 2001 for his coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from inside the evacuated mansion. Between his White House stints, Fournier was the AP's chief political writer for the 1998 midterms and the 2000 presidential campaign, winning the Society of Professional Journalists' 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Award for election coverage. Fournier began his journalism career in Arkansas, where he covered Bill Clinton as governor. He and his wife, Lori, both graduates of the University of Detroit, are raising three children in Arlington, Va.