Colin Woodard, state and national affairs reporter for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, has been named a finalist for a Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

Woodard was nominated for a 2013 series, “The Lobbyist in the Henhouse,” that examined the cozy relationship between Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho and some of her former clients from the time when she was an influential lobbyist. The series found that Aho, as DEP commissioner, opposed laws and policies that would have affected industries she used to lobby for.

Woodard was nominated in the small and medium newspapers category alongside journalists from the Charleston (South Carolina) Gazette, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Orange County (California) Register and the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 24 in New York City.

The Loeb Awards were established in 1957 by Gerald Loeb, a founding partner of the investment firm E.F. Hutton, and are considered among the most prestigious honors in the country for business journalism.

Woodard, who joined the Press Herald in 2012, also was nominated for a Loeb award last year for his investigative report on the influence exerted by for-profit online education companies on the Maine Department of Education. He won a George K. Polk Award for education reporting for the same report.

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