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.
It's going to be a noisy start to the year for Republicans, who have an unusual number of primary challengers to incumbents. Democrats, meanwhile, are making a weak play for political control in the next decade.
Monday was the filing deadline for the 2010 elections, and the parties published preliminary lists of the people who want to run the state next year. By our tentative count, 89 members of the House won't have major-party competition, while nine of the 16 senators on the ballot and four members of the state's congressional delegation all apparently drew byes. The full ballots, as they stand now, are in our Election 2010 database.
Former state Sen. Hector Uribe, D-Brownsville, filed for land commissioner today, setting up a primary battle with Bill Burton of Athens. The winner will face Republican incumbent Jerry Patterson in November.
The political window is about to close: Today's the last day to become a candidate in the 2010 state elections. What we know so far is that the ballot will have a fireworks show at the top, with contested and well-financed gubernatorial primaries on both sides. A couple of statewide Democratic races will be competitive, but with incumbents seeking reelection on the Republican side, there's little action there.
David Dewhurst will seek reelection on the Republican side, effectively ending that party's primary for lieutenant governor. But the Democrats are still stirring the pot. Ronnie Earle, the former Travis County DA is in. As of earlier today, Austin restauranteur Marc Katz is in. Will Linda Chavez-Thompson sign up?
Texas Tech University got sued by one of its employees this week: Head football coach Mike Leach says the school is improperly barring him from coaching the team in the Alamo Bowl on the basis of a complaint it hasn't substantiated.
Rep. Frank Corte Jr., R-San Antonio, became the sixth eighth member of the Texas House to say he won't seek reelection next year. He says he doesn't have specific plans, and adds that he's not endorsing any would-be successor.
Roll your own political videos ... interactive travel maps of your federal and state legislators ... scary movies, to keep the kids out of the border's scary drug wars ... puttting dropouts back in class ... rates squeezing families out of home health care ... how many lobby and trade associations do teachers in Texas need? ... enjoying the silence before an expected two-month siege of political advertising ... the dean of Texas political writers gets shut out of the gubernatorial debates ... and we have an interactive database of the state's best and worst public schools. The best of our best for a short news week, from December 19 to 26, 2009.
From Texas Weekly, this same week a year ago: "Kay Bailey Hutchison's term in the U.S. Senate runs through 2012 and she now says she won't resign earlier than the end of next year if she runs for governor. She has formed an exploratory committee."