National Press Club

2017 "Press vs. Politicians" National Press Club Spelling Bee

2017 "Press vs. Politicians" National Press Club Spelling Bee

September 26, 2017 7:00 PM

Livestream will begin at 7:15pm EDT.

Politicians Square Off Against the Press in Annual National Press Club Spelling Bee

2017 National Press Club Spelling Bee LogoRelationships between politicians and the media who cover them are constantly being highlighted, but on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 in the National Press Club’s historic ballroom, fun and friendly competition will prevail as lawmakers and reporters compete in the uproariously entertaining Press vs. Politicians Spelling Bee.

Confirmed contestants on the Politicians Team are:

  • Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va)
  • Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif)
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore)
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md)
  • Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla)
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo)

Those confirmed in the press corner are:

  • 2016 champion Art Swift (Gallup)
  • Alexandra Petri (The Washington Post)
  • Seung Min Kim (Politico)
  • Hadas Gold (CNN)
  • Todd Gillman (Dallas Morning News)
  • Vann R. Newkirk II (The Atlantic)
  • Jonathan Salant (NJ Advance Media)

The Bee will be emceed by Clinton Yates (ESPN’s The Undefeated) and Kelsey Snell (The Washington Post). Dr. Jacques Bailly, the Scripps National Spelling Bee's official pronouncer and 1980 winner of their competition, will officiate. Ananya Vinay, champion of the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee, will serve as the guest judge for the event.

To start the show, Vinay will challenge 2016 Press Club Spelling Bee champion Swift in a one-on-one spelling match.

Beyer will return this year hoping to reclaim his 2015 championship title, and an intensely competitive Washington press corps is defending its 2016 victory, the first-ever in the modern history of the event.

The first such event was held in 1913, with newly elected President Woodrow Wilson in the audience for the inaugural showdown, which was won by members of the House and Senate. The Press vs. Politicians Spelling Bee was reinstituted on its 100th anniversary in 2013 and has become a Washington tradition since. Politicians have beaten the Press two out of the last three years.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the Bee will start at 7:15 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.

This year's Spelling Bee will include a raffle with prizes from the Willard InterContinental Washington, the Dish & Dram, Town Hall, Pi Pizzeria, Del Frisco's Grille, honeygrow and more. The raffle will also include a special prize: a Nickelback album signed by Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse.

Proceeds from the event support the activities of the Club’s nonprofit Journalism Institute, which defends press freedom worldwide, provides training for news professionals, and scholarships for the next generation of journalists.

With thanks to our sponsors from Sysco, CQ Roll Call, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Dunbar Armored and Weiner Public News.

For More Information On This Event, Contact:

Crystal White

NPC Members: There is a member promotion available for this event or you need to log in to register. Click here to log in and get the code.