Jay Root Reporter

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.

Recent Contributions

Audio: Assessing the Perry Legacy

Reporter Jay Root, Gov. Rick Perry's former chief of staff and top transportation appointee Deirdre Delisi, former Perry presidential campaign manager Rob Johnson, Democratic consultant Harold Cook and state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin at El Arroyo in Austin discussing Rick Perry's legacy on Nov. 18, 2014.
Reporter Jay Root, Gov. Rick Perry's former chief of staff and top transportation appointee Deirdre Delisi, former Perry presidential campaign manager Rob Johnson, Democratic consultant Harold Cook and state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin at El Arroyo in Austin discussing Rick Perry's legacy on Nov. 18, 2014.

Two of Gov. Rick Perry's top former aides, GOP strategists Deirdre Delisi and Rob Johnson, sit down with two Democrats, consultant Harold Cook and Rep. Donna Howard of Austin, to size up Perry's legacy after 14 years as Texas governor. 

George W. Bush, Invoking Father, Urges Jeb to Run

Former President George W. Bush tells a story about his father at Texas A&M University on Nov. 11.
Former President George W. Bush tells a story about his father at Texas A&M University on Nov. 11.

Former President George W. Bush used an event designed to promote a new book to give his brother Jeb a boost. Invoking his father, Bush said: "I can speak for 41 when I say this. He ought to run for president, and he would be a great president should he win.”

 

Abbott Campaign Credits Sophisticated Turnout Machine

Sarah Floerke, deputy campaign manager for Greg Abbott's successful campaign for governor, oversaw an extensive field operation, spread out across Texas and costing $5 million to $6 million.
Sarah Floerke, deputy campaign manager for Greg Abbott's successful campaign for governor, oversaw an extensive field operation, spread out across Texas and costing $5 million to $6 million.

Greg Abbott's gubernatorial campaign released details this week on its exhaustive ground game and voter targeting efforts. The campaign credits those efforts in aiding his eye-popping margin of victory — 20 points — over Wendy Davis

Greg Abbott Crushes Wendy Davis in GOP Sweep

Republican Greg Abbott celebrates with family after winning governor's race in a landslide.
Republican Greg Abbott celebrates with family after winning governor's race in a landslide.

As expected, Attorney General Greg Abbott crushed Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis in a landslide in the Texas governor's race. Abbott, 56, who will become the first Texas governor in a wheelchair, presided over a sweep of the statewide ballot and helped usher in a whole new crop of Republican leaders.

In Conference Call, Obama Urges Texas Democrats to Vote

President Obama talked about the U.S. economy in a speech on July 10, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.
President Obama talked about the U.S. economy in a speech on July 10, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.

President Obama on Monday urged Democratic voters to turn out on Election Day for Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte, the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, warning in a conference call that voter apathy would ensure Republicans retain control in Texas. 

GOP Issues Rare Retraction of HD-105 Flyers

Texas Republican Party chairman Steve Munisteri speaks to the Grassroots Club in Fort Worth on June 5, 2014.
Texas Republican Party chairman Steve Munisteri speaks to the Grassroots Club in Fort Worth on June 5, 2014.

After Democrat Susan Motley complained about mailers attacking her in a state House race, state GOP chairman Steve Munisteri agreed that the ads were inaccurate. And he's issued a rare retraction to voters in North Texas.

Perry Calls for "Clean Break" From Obama Era

Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library on Oct. 27, 2014.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library on Oct. 27, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry took his national ambition to California Monday, bemoaning what he described as a country adrift at home and abroad and predicting that Americans will demand dramatic change in the next presidential election. Perry hit on job creation, foreign policy, energy and more.

Davis Optimistic Despite Long Odds

Democrat Wendy Davis, trying to energize young voters on the University of Texas campus in Austin Monday, said she’s seeing hopeful turnout trends despite a torrent of polls that show she’s losing the governor’s race to Attorney General Greg Abbott by double digits.

Davis: I'd Be "Thrilled" to Have Obama's Help

Despite a double-digit shortfall in most early polls, Democratic candidate Wendy Davis predicts victory in the race for Texas governor on Oct. 22, 2014.
Despite a double-digit shortfall in most early polls, Democratic candidate Wendy Davis predicts victory in the race for Texas governor on Oct. 22, 2014.

While many Democrats in southern states are running away from Barack Obama as fast as they can, Sen. Wendy Davis leaned into her embrace of the president on Wednesday, saying she would welcome him on the campaign trail.