Ross Ramsey Executive Editor

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly for 15 years. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

Recent Contributions

Republican Contest Dominate April 13 Runoffs

Today’s elections in 18 Texas primary races, all but two involving Republicans, probably won't change the overall temperature of the statehouse or our delegation to Congress. The partisan makeup of those places isn't at stake until November. But for three House incumbents and challengers in two other races — for the State Board of Education and the Texas Supreme Court  — how the vote turns out is a big deal.

Crumbs

Texas Weekly

The truth is, the next two elections — the runoffs next week and the specials on May 8 — are more micro than macro. They matter to the people involved and to the constituencies being served, but in the larger scheme, there's not a lot at stake. The results don't immediately translate into major changes in Congress, the statehouse or the courts.

Lubbock's Frullo and Griffin in State House Runoff

The runoff between John Frullo and Mark Griffin shares one important characteristic with the adjacent race in HD-83: It pits inside-the-tent Lubbock Republicans against a coalition of social and libertarian conservatives who are distinctly unhappy with government in Washington and Texas. In that frame, Frullo's the insurgent and Griffin represents the establishment.

Jones and Perry Close in Lubbock House Runoff

Rep. Delwin Jones (standing) talks to voters in a Lubbock diner.
Rep. Delwin Jones (standing) talks to voters in a Lubbock diner.

Delwin Jones, who was first elected to the Texas House in 1964 after two unsuccessful attempts, says he has handed out 765,000 promotional emery boards since his start in politics. His tenure and those files weren't enough to win a bruising primary outright last month, though, and the veteran legislator now finds himself in a runoff against Tea Party organizer Charles Perry, who's capitalizing on voter anger at incumbents.

The Decider

Texas Weekly

It's like finding out the last season of your favorite TV show was a dream sequence: Kay Bailey Hutchison was never really leaving the U.S. Senate after all.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Mar 29, 2010

Hamilton on Tarleton State's fuss over a play featuring a gay Jesus and how it never got to the stage, E. Smith and a gang of political types with unsolicited advice for Bill White, Stiles on Texans' slothful approach to the census, Aguilar on immigrant detention policy and mentally ill inmates, Grissom on federal immigration reform, Rapoport on an effort to protect the state's prepaid college tuition program, Stiles and E. Smith interview Houston Mayor Annise Parker on NASA and the economy and staying out of state politics, Hu on the final move in U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's long and very public fretting over whether to stay in office, Ramsey on Hutchison's ripple through the political pond, Ramshaw on how federal health care legislation looks to Texas budget-writers, Garcia-Ditta on shrinking capacity at Texas mental hospitals, E. Smith has a conversation with former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, and Hamilton, Ramshaw and M. Smith on primary runoffs in Plano, San Antonio, and Central Texas. The best of our best from March 29 to April 2, 2010.

KBH Stays in Senate, Forcing Others to Stay Put

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison finally ended the will-she-or-won't-she drama, saying she's staying put through the end of her term in 2012. But ever since she first announced she'd resign, she's been shifting positions. We take a look back.

She said she would limit her time in the U.S. Senate to two terms and is currently serving a third. She said she would resign her federal office to run for governor and didn't. She said she would quit after the primary and hasn't. So who's to say she won't reconsider in two years and run for a fourth term? And what of all those would-be successors?

Redistricting Reality

In 2011, political mapmakers will take the latest census numbers (Texas is expected to have a population of more than 25 million) and use them to draw new congressional and legislative districts. The last time this was done, in 2003, Republican mappers took control of the U.S. House by peeling away seats from the Democrats. This time, Texas is poised to add up to four seats to its congressional delegation — and early numbers indicate bad news ahead for West Texas and other areas that haven't kept up with the state's phenomenal growth.

The First Corporate Ad

The KDR Development Inc. advertisement that ran in the Panola Watchman
The KDR Development Inc. advertisement that ran in the Panola Watchman

The first political ads bought by a corporation in Texas appeared in East Texas newspapers just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ended the state's ban on that kind of spending. They challenged the Republican bona fides of state Rep. Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville, a Democrat who switched parties in November and ran in a three-way GOP primary.

That Didn't Take Long

Texas Weekly

The first political ads bought by a corporation in Texas appeared in East Texas newspapers just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ended the state's ban on that kind of spending.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Mar 15, 2010

Grissom on the 1.2 million Texans who've lost their licenses under the Driver Responsibility Act and the impenetrable black box that is the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Ramshaw and Kraft on nurses with substance abuse problems and rehabilitation that can get them back to work, M. Smith finds it's not easy being Rick Green, Stiles on counting Texans (and everybody else), Rapoport on the State Board of Education's war with itself and the runoff in SBOE District 10, Thevenot's revealing interview with a big-city superintendent on closing bad schools, Aguilar on the tensions over water on the Texas-Mexico border, Hamilton on the new Coffee Party, Hu on Kesha Rogers and why her party doesn't want her, Philpott on the runoff in HD-47, Ramsey on Bill White and the politics of taxes, and E. Smith's conversation with Game Change authors Mark Halperin and John Heleimann: The best of our best from March 15 to 19.

Bill White and the Politics of Taxes

"You have to do a few things when you run for office in Texas," says one of Rick Perry's allies. "You have to debate. You have to release your tax returns. And you have to say you won't raise taxes." Bill White will surely debate the governor before November's general election, but at the moment he hasn't done the other two. The former probably won't sink him, but the latter could — by declining to drink the no-new-taxes potion, he's handing his opponent a weapon to use against him. Unless, of course, he's successful at changing the way the argument goes.