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

The Ticket: Scott Walker and Craig Gilbert

This week on The Ticket: Jay Root and Ben Philpott break down the campaign announcement speech of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and talk to Craig Gilbert, the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Jan. 24, 2015. Rebecca Miller

Rick Perry Consulting for Big Donor

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is reporting income of $250,000 from the company of top donor Peter Holt, helping boost the Republican presidential candidate’s family income past $700,000 over the last 18 months, new disclosures reveal.

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The Ticket: Chris Christie and WNYC's Matt Katz

This week on The Ticket, Jay Root and Ben Philpott break down the campaign announcement speech of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and learn what kind of campaign he could run from WNYC's Matt Katz, creator of The Christie Tracker. 

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Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015. Bob Daemmrich

Abbott Emails Predicted Ethics Reform Failure

Gov. Greg Abbott accurately predicted the death of ethics reform months ago and concluded in a candid and prescient email to top staffers that he would likely be forced to call one or more 30-day special sessions to push meaningful reforms through a recalcitrant Texas Legislature.


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Gov. Greg Abbott Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Abbott Vetoes Spousal Loophole

Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed legislation that would have opened up a new loophole allowing elected officials to cloak assets held by a spouse. State Rep. Sarah Davis, whose bills contained the controversial amendment, said she wound up adding her voice to those calling for a veto.

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