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

Dueling Ads in Governor's Race

UPDATED: A TV ad war is about to begin in the governor's race. State Sen. Wendy Davis is out with a blistering TV attack ad featuring the story of a rape victim and a vote her opponent made as a judge. The ad was released after Greg Abbott announced he was airing the first major statewide TV ad of the fall governor's race. 

Corrupt Insiders: Davis and Abbott Swap Charges

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.
Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.

Here is the state of the Texas governor's race in the late summer of 2014: Both candidates are speaking directly to their base voters and labeling each other as corrupt insiders out of touch with ordinary people.

 

Lawmakers Question Perry's Funding of National Guard

Criticizing a lack of federal response on border issues, Governor Rick Perry announces deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border on July 21, 2014.
Criticizing a lack of federal response on border issues, Governor Rick Perry announces deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border on July 21, 2014.

Some Texas lawmakers are questioning Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to tap $38 million in unused Texas Department of Public Safety funds to pay for the emergency deployment of the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Perry Sending Guard Troops to the Border

Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announces the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announces the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday that he is sending up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help beef up security along the Texas-Mexico border. The operation will cost an estimated $12 million a month.

Davis Money Haul Less Than Advertised

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.

Democrat Wendy Davis' campaign for governor boasted that it outraised Republican Greg Abbott over the last few months and had hauled in $13.1 million. The actual reports, published online Wednesday, told a different story.

Abbott Campaign Reports $35.6 Million War Chest

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is also running for governor, speaks to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

Attorney General Greg Abbott has amassed a $35.6 million war chest in the race for Texas governor. His Democratic opponent, Sen. Wendy Davis, says she has $13.1 million for the effort. 

Obama Visit Becomes Talking Point in Governor's Race

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the GOP nominee for governor, spoke at the Lavazza coffee shop, a few blocks away from where President Obama spoke later in the day on July 10, 2014.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, the GOP nominee for governor, spoke at the Lavazza coffee shop, a few blocks away from where President Obama spoke later in the day on July 10, 2014.

President Obama’s visit to Texas became fodder in the governor’s race Thursday, with Democrat Wendy Davis suggesting he should visit the U.S-Mexico border in person and Republican Greg Abbott challenging him to adopt the “Texas model” in Washington.

 

Insurer Drops Suit Against Tyler Widow

Crystal Davis, a stay-at-home mom from Tyler, finally got some welcome news in her battle against an insurance company that sued to cut off the workers’ comp benefits she got after her husband was killed on the job. The insurer is dropping its lawsuit, her lawyer said.

 

Abbott: Ask Chemical Plants What's Inside

Republican candidate Greg Abbott gives his vision for a new Texas if he's elected governor in a speech to Republican delegates on June 6, 2014.
Republican candidate Greg Abbott gives his vision for a new Texas if he's elected governor in a speech to Republican delegates on June 6, 2014.

Despite a controversial ruling that the state no longer must give citizens data about dangerous chemical locations, Attorney General Greg Abbott said Texans can still find them. As long as they know which companies to ask.