Jay Root — Click for higher resolution staff photos

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

Bob Daemmrich

Analysis: A New, Dimmer Era For Rick Perry

Any longtime Perry watcher worth his salt knows the handsome fly boy from Paint Creek, Texas will do everything in his power to stay relevant in state and national politics, even after a second embarrassing withdrawal from presidential politics.

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Rafael Aguilera, Austin American-Statesman

Decades After Reforms, Exclusive Deal Lingers

An exclusive funding deal between Texas Mutual and the Travis County DA was forged amid crisis, one that has long-since passed. While the company used to be subject to government audits and transparency laws, lobbyists have worked to lift such rules. 

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The Ticket: Ted Cruz Returns to Texas

This week on The Ticket: Jay Root and Ben Philpott discuss one of the only GOP presidential candidates who's survived the Summer of Trump: Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and they talk to Texas activist JoAnn Fleming about Cruz's rise to prominence on the national stage.

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Illustration by Emily Albracht

Abbott Shields Records with Paxton's Blessing

Is Gov. Greg Abbott a "member of the public," even when he's discussing government business? That's what he's arguing in order to keep his email address private. Those and other arguments in favor of government secrecy are leaving the public less and less informed, transparency experts say.

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The Ticket: Debate Prep

This week on The Ticket: Jay Root and Ben Philpott take us back in time for a review of classic presidential debate moments. And they interview GOP consultant Deirdre Delisi about what the candidates are doing to get ready for the first GOP debate.


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The Ticket: Donald Trump vs. the GOP

This week on The Ticket: Jay Root and Ben Philpott break down the campaign of Donald Trump and talk to Josh Hafner, who's reporting on the Trump campaign in Iowa for the Des Moines Register.

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