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

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 8

This week's look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots sees HD-105 (Harper-Brown) downgraded from Red to Orange, HD-45 (Rose) upgraded from Yellow to Orange and two new ones, HD-106 (England) and HD-149 (Vo), added to the Yellow zone.

UT/TT Poll: Perry 50, White 40, Glass 8, Shafto 2

Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads his Democratic challenger, Bill White by 10 points — 50 percent to 40 percent — in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Libertarian Kathie Glass has the support of 8 percent of respondents; Deb Shafto of the Green Party gets 2 percent. In the last UT/TT poll, conducted in early September, Perry led by 6 points, 39 percent to 33 percent. In a red state in a red year, GOP incumbents in other statewide races are beating their Democratic opponents by between 13 points and 20 points, the new poll found.

Election Days

Texas Weekly

Twice as many people showed up for the first three days of early voting in the state's top 15 counties as came out four years ago, according to the Texas Secretary of State. Through the end of the day Wednesday (there's a lag in the reporting and those were the latest numbers as we published), 435,007 people had voted, compared with 219,436 four years ago. As a percentage of registered voters, that's 5.22 percent this year as opposed to 2.7 percent four years ago. Early voting continues for another week. During the 2006 gubernatorial election, 13.2 percent of the registered voters in those top 15 counties voted early.

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 7

This week's look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots sees two races upgraded into more urgent territory: HD-96 (Turner) moves from Orange to Red, and HD-57 (Dunnam) moves from Yellow to Orange. Two more are on the verge of downgrading from Orange to Yellow: HD-56 (Anderson) and HD-107 (Vaught). And we've added one to the Yellow zone: If HD-45 (Rose) is so uncompetitive, why's the incumbent running like a man with a wild boar on his tail?

Ready, Set, Vote

Texas Weekly

Former state Sen. Kim Brimer, R-Fort Worth, won the mail-in vote two years ago. He beat Democrat Wendy Davis on Election Day, too. But he lost the walk-in early vote in the crush of excited Democrats who went to the polls that year, and that was enough to send him home and send Davis to the state Senate.

Washington at the Center of Texas Governor Race

Rick Perry and Bill White
Rick Perry and Bill White

The battle in the 2010 governor's race is about the battleground itself: Rick Perry wants to bind himself to voters in opposition to an intrusive and profligate Washington D.C. — meddling liberal Yankees, in other words. Bill White wants to motivate voters in opposition to what he portrays as the sorry condition of the state under Perry, the self-serving "career politician." For White, Washington is Perry's bogeyman to divert attention from his failures at home. For Perry, Washington is the root of the evils the state confronts — foremost, issues he says White ignores.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/11/10

Hu on freshman House Democrats trying to win re-election in a Republican year, Grissom on Republicans bolstered by those same political trends, Aguilar on slow reforms in immigrant detention programs, Chang on the trouble with synthetic marijuana, Ramshaw on how proposed cuts in state Medicaid services could affect 13,000 Texans, yours truly on how political polls have as much to do with who's counted as with what they say, Galbraith on why Texas is building coal plants in spite of tightening federal air pollution standards, Hamilton on community colleges accusing the University of Texas of siphoning money from their financial wells, M. Smith on the court of inquiry proposed for a death penalty case and how it would work, and E. Smith interviews U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess about federal health care: The best of our best from Oct. 11 to 15, 2010.

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 6

This week's look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots sees two drop from Red to Orange, largely because the incumbents outdid their opponents in the latest campaign finance reports. For similar reasons, three incumbents move into hotter water; they face challengers whose combined general election spending and cash on hand outdistanced theirs.

Money, Honey

Texas Weekly

The campaign finance reports due 30 days before an election spur at least two varieties of anxiety. There's the obvious thing: Candidate A has more money than Candidate B. And there's the less-obvious thing, often a product of experience: Who started handing out checks, and to whom, the day after the reporting cutoff? This year, the deadline date was September 23, and the next reports — covering the final week of September and all but the last week of October, won't be here for a few weeks. Rumors of last-minute money are swirling.

Houston Candidates Look to White with Hope, Worry

Bill White, the Democratic nominee for governor, was a popular mayor of Houston who was twice returned to office by wide margins. So having him at the top of the ballot this November should help Houston-area Democrats win their races, right? "I can't think that it would do anything but help," says Democratic state Rep. Kristi Thibaut, who's in a tough contest for re-election against former Republican lawmaker Jim Murphy. But Harris County GOP Judge Ed Emmett insists White will have little impact on his own bid for re-election — and won't matter in legislative races either.

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 5

This week's look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots sees an addition to the list (HD-57), because of indications that conservatives have a prominent Democrat in their target zone, and three upgrades, with a race (HD-113) going from Orange to Red and two (HD-1 and HD-56) moving from Yellow to Orange.