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

Ethics Bill Would Shed Light on Contracts

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione R-Soutlake waits to testify during a March 14th House Homeland Security & Public Safety committee hearing.
Rep. Giovanni Capriglione R-Soutlake waits to testify during a March 14th House Homeland Security & Public Safety committee hearing.

State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, a leading advocate of ethics reform in the notoriously unrestrained Texas Legislature, filed legislation Tuesday designed to shed more light on lawmakers who make money off of government contracts.

 

In Austin, Huckabee Blasts Perry Indictment

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit at the Hoyt Sherman Place theater in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit at the Hoyt Sherman Place theater in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.

Besides being potential rivals in the 2016 presidential race, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry have butted heads in past races. But Huckabee heaped praise on Perry on Thursday and blasted the indictment against the Texas governor.

Sole Finalist for A&M President Chosen

Michael K. Young, president of the University of Washington, is expected to be named the sole finalist to become the next president of Texas A&M University.
Michael K. Young, president of the University of Washington, is expected to be named the sole finalist to become the next president of Texas A&M University.

Michael K. Young, president of the University of Washington, has been named the sole finalist to become the next president of Texas A&M University.

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.