is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, where he writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. 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.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is in the governor's race, if you were still on pins and needles about that. She starts with promises of property tax reform, a leadership shake-up at the Texas Department of Transportation, and a list of other problems she'd like to address.
It was a political week, with a full-court press from our staff on Bill White's switch to the governor's race and all of the fallout; the moves during the first week of filing for political races; Philpott's look at Republicans challenging Republicans; Hu's latest in the popular Stump Interrupted series; Ramshaw on emergency rooms, family doctors, and child protection; Stiles and Grissom mapping payday lending locations juxtaposed with family income data; Rapoport on the state budget and education; Thevenot on KBH's plans for schools; and Hamilton on the power (or not) of political endorsements. The best of the best from November 28 to December 4, 2009.
Texas Democrats aren't through with the changes on the statewide ticket. Take a look at this teaser from gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, issued after Hank Gilbert exited the governor's race, set his heart on being agriculture commissioner, and endorsed Farouk Shami.
Hank Gilbert got out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, saying there are "two credible candidates" in the race. And he said he'll be a candidate for agriculture commissioner — the office he tried unsuccessfully to win in 2006. And then came the real surprise: Gilbert said he is endorsing Farouk Shami for the Democratic nomination.
It's time to harvest the political speculations of the last several months: Democrats and Republicans have until January 4 to put their names on the ballots, or not, in anticipation of the March 2 primaries.
State Sen. Steve Ogden, who said earlier this year he would leave the Legislature after his current term, will seek another two years in office after all. And he may have drawn the first primary opponent of his political career.
Two weeks after switching parties, Rep. Chuck Hopson still thinks he did the right thing, given the politics of his district. "McCain, in my four counties here, got 72 to 74 percent," he says. "I think if the election were held today, that would be something like 80 percent."