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

Race for Agriculture Job Grows Nasty

In a year that appears to be custom-made for GOP statewide candidates, the last thing Todd Staples wanted was for Hank Gilbert to make the race for agriculture commissioner interesting, let alone turn it into a minor spectacle. "I have an opponent who is a pathological political liar," says Staples, the Republican incumbent, citing a list of transgressions. "This guy is likely the most unfit person to run for office in recent Texas history." Gilbert says things are going just the way he'd hoped. "I like where we are," the Democratic challenger says. "I like that we've gotten under his skin a little bit."

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 4

This week's look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots has two (HD-3 and HD-52) moving from Red to Orange, and three (HD-96, HD-101 and HD-102) moving in the other direction. The two downgraded races both have three candidates in them; none of the three upgraded contests has a Libertarian on board to help the Democrat by pulling votes from the Republican.

Reality Check

Texas Weekly

You're looking at a strong election year if your downgraded forecasts have you picking up four to seven seats in the Texas House. Republican prognosticators are getting over some of their Labor Day exuberance (the predictions then, from the mouths of people who are usually sober about these things, was for a dozen-seat pickup). And they're learning that some of their candidates aren't perfect, a set of revelations that befalls everyone in politics around this time of the election cycle.

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 3

Our latest look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots notes the withdrawal of the Libertarian from the HD-78 contest, which is now a major-party-only affair, and the emergence of a previously dormant PAC on the GOP side in HD-45. The former has been upgraded to Orange; the latter remains Yellow for the moment.

How Things Look at the Gate

Texas Weekly

Republican Gov. Rick Perry is six points ahead of Democrat Bill White in the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Other numbers in that survey indicate voters might be willing to vote for a new governor but that White hasn't made the sale: 22 percent are undecided, 5 percent would vote for Libertarian Kathie Glass and — this is sort of interesting — 31 percent say they identify with the Tea Party. White got 33 percent in the poll to Perry's 39 percent — a number of some significance, since it was Perry's final percentage in 2006's four-way race for governor.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Sept. 13, 2010

Ramsey on the fourth University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll (with insights into the statewide races, issues, the budget, and Texans' view of the national scene), Hamilton and Thevenot in Galveston on the anniversary of Hurricane Ike, Ramshaw on secret hearings that separate children from their guardians, Hu on what former state Rep. Bill Zedler did for doctor-donors who were under investigation, Aguilar on the troubles around Mexico's bicentennial, Galbraith talks coal and wind with the head of the Sierra Club, E. Smith interviews state Rep. Debbie Riddle about tourism babies and godless liberals, Grissom on why complaints about city jails go unaddressed, Philpott on the debate that will apparently never happen and Stiles continues to put the major-party gubernatorial candidates on the map: The best of our best from September 13 to 17, 2010.

Texas Weekly's Hot List, Vol. 2

Our latest look at the most competitive races on the Texas congressional and legislative ballots now includes five more contests, each with Democratic incumbents. If GOP exuberance turns out to be rational, these seats could be in play. Only one race changes categories this week: CD-23, which was Red last week but has been downgraded to Orange.

Perry Leads White 39-33 in September UT/TT Poll

Results of the September 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in the general election for governor.
Results of the September 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in the general election for governor.

Gov. Rick Perry leads Bill White 39 percent to 33 percent in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, whose most interesting finding is a restless electorate dissatisfied with conventional choices up and down the ballot. In the governor's race, 22 percent of respondents said they were undecided about which candidate to support with only seven weeks to go in the fall campaign. Third-party candidates are capturing enough of the vote to affect the outcomes of some statewide contests. And 31 percent of respondents — nearly one in three Texans — consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement.