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Tampa Bay Times Mike Van Sickler named Government & Politics Editor

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Michael Van Sickler, the talented Tampa Bay Times investigative reporter behind numerous must-read stories for more than a decade before moving into an editing position in 2015, has received a promotion.

The Cleveland native has been named Government & Politics Editor, replacing Jeff Harrington, who is returning to business reporting.

“I’m pretty excited about teaming up again with an incredibly talented Times/Herald staff as we enter the home stretch of the strangest political cycle in my lifetime,” he wrote to in an email.

“Hold on to your hat — we’re in for a wild ride.”

Van Sickler has reported and edited for the Times since 2003. He became an assistant metro editor for the paper in early 2015.

His reporting on the foreclosure crisis in the late aughts for the paper brought him to the attention of New Yorker reporter George Packer, who featured Van Sickler in several chapters of his 2013 book, “The Unwinding.”

Packard highlighted Van Sicker’s reporting about Sang-Min (Sonny) Kim, a house-flipper in Tampa who had colluded through a shell company in the flipping of more than 100 mostly abandoned properties around the city, and cleared more than $4 million in profit. That reporting led to Kim ultimately pleading guilty to money laundering and fraud charges.

If you’re trying to figure out the hierarchy of Times political editors, Amy Hollyfield is Deputy Managing Editor/Politics and Business, which oversees Political Editor Adam Smith and now Van Sickler.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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