Mike Ross (Arkansas)

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Mike Ross
Mike Ross.jpg
U.S. House, Arkansas, District 4
Former member
In office
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2000
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Arkansas State Senate
Nevada County Quorum Court
Bachelor'sUniversity of Arkansas, Little Rock, 1987
Date of birthAugust 2, 1961
Place of birthTexarkana, AR
ProfessionBusiness Owner
Mike Ross (b. August 2, 1961) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing Arkansas's 4th congressional district from 2001 to 2013. He ran for Governor of Arkansas in the 2014 election.

Ross did not seek re-election in 2012,[1] opting instead to take a job in the private sector as the senior vice president for government affairs and public relations for Southwest Power Pool. Ross was succeeded by Tom Cotton, a Republican, who won election to the U.S. House on November 6, 2012.[2]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Ross was a "centrist Democrat".[3]


The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors

Below is an abbreviated outline of Ross's academic, professional and political career:[4]

  • 1987: Graduated from University of Arkansas, Little Rock with B.A.
  • 1985-1989: Staff for office of the Lt. Governor of Arkansas
  • 1991-2000: Arkansas State Senate
  • 2001-2013: U.S Representative from Arkansas

Committee assignments

U.S. House


  • Energy and Commerce Committee
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade
    • Subcommittee on Health
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations


Specific votes

Rep. Ross voted for TARP.[5] According to a Gallup poll from September 13, 2010, 61% of Americans disapprove of TARP, while 37% approve.[6]

Rep. Ross also voted for the auto bailout.[7] As of September 13, 2010: 56% of Americans disapproved of the auto bailout, while 43% supported it.[8]

In addition, Rep. Ross voted for the stimulus bill.[9] 57% of U.S. voters believe that the stimulus has either hurt the economy (36%) or had no impact (21%). 38% believe the stimulus helped the economy. [10]

Finally, Rep. Ross supported the "Cash for Clunkers" bill.[11] According to a June 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll, 54% of likely U.S. voters opposed Cash for Clunkers, while 35% supported it.[12]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Ross voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[13]


A Washington Post investigation in February 2012 revealed that 33 members of Congress helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to public projects in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.[14] According to the report, Ross helped secure about $2.6 million toward the construction of a railroad trestle in Prescott about one-third mile from a building he owns.[15]

Ross is co-sponsoring legislation which would require states to redraw boundaries by using an independent commission. Ross said that redistricting was responsible for making Congress become more partisan by creating fewer competitive districts. He says that the process has created more safe seats for both parties, resulting in fewer moderate lawmakers willing to work with the opposite party. He said, "It used to be that we only did politics on even years and we'd actually make policy on odd years. Now we never make policy. It's politics 24-7 the entire two year term."[16]



See also: Arkansas gubernatorial election, 2014

Ross announced he ran for Governor of Arkansas in the 2014 election. He will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Race background

In June 2012, Democratic Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed paperwork to start raising money for his 2014 campaign for Governor of Arkansas.[17] He dropped out of the race on January 25, 2013. McDaniel had been considered the Democratic frontrunner, but revelations that he had engaged in extra-martial relations with a Hot Springs attorney, Andi Davis,[18] whom he met around his 2010 re-election, ultimately proved too significant a publicity threat to his gubernatorial campaign. His official statement announcing his withdrawal from the race was sent to supporters through e-mail the morning on Jan. 25. McDaniel's statement explained, "I had hoped that I could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with my vision for the future. Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for Governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future."[19]

The same day McDaniel withdrew his bid, former Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter announced his entry into the gubernatorial race. He's seeking the Democratic nomination, and his campaign has so far been endorsed by the United Steelworkers union.[20][21] Halter has made education the chief focus of his campaign, hinging on his $50-75 million plan to offer college scholarships to high school graduates who maintain a 2.5 grade point average.[22]

After announcing in Dec. 2012 that he would not run for Governor of Arkansas, he re-emerged as a potential candidate following state attorney general and early frontrunner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination Dustin McDaniel dropped out of the race.[2][23][24]

"Dustin McDaniel getting out of the race has left a huge void which clearly none of the other candidates are filling or I wouldn't be getting all these calls from every corner of the state...I'm humbled by that and I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the people of this state to at least reconsider my decision and I'm doing that," Ross said at U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's (D-AR) re-election fundraiser in March 2013.[25] Ross officially entered the governor's race on April 17, 2013. The only other declared Democratic candidate at the time of his announcement was Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter.[26]


Ross did not seek re-election in 2012. Tom Cotton (R) defeated Gene Jeffress (D), Joshua Drake (G) and Bobby Tullis (L) in the general election.


On November 2, 2010, Ross won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Beth Anne Rankin and Josh Drake in the general election.[27]

U.S. House, Arkansas District 4 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMike Ross Incumbent 57.5% 102,479
     Republican Beth Anne Rankin 40.2% 71,526
     Green Josh Drake 2.3% 4,129
Total Votes 178,134

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Ross's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Ross won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that election cycle, Ross's campaign committee raised a total of $2,426,280 and spent $3,012,727.[28]

His top 5 contributors between 2009-2010 were:


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Ross paid his congressional staff a total of $995,469 in 2011. He ranked 74th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic Representative Staff Salaries and he ranked 265th overall of the lowest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Arkansas ranked 38th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[29]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Ross' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $128,010 and $479,999. That averages to $304,004.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[30]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Ross ranked 180th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[31]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Ross ranked 192nd in the liberal rankings.[32]

Percentage voting with party

November 2011

Mike Ross voted with the Democratic Party 56.6% of the time, which ranked 190 among the 192 House Democratic members as of 2011.[33]


Ross and his wife, Holly, have two children.

External links


  1. Arkansas Times "In Ross' wake," Accessed February 23, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Arkansas Business, "Mike Ross not reconsidering 2014 run for Arkansas governor," December 26, 2012
  3. Gov Track "Ross" Accessed May 23, 2012
  4. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Michael Avery Ross," Accessed November 1, 2011
  5. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll681.xml
  6. Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  7. US House Clerk "Roll Call 690" December 10, 2008
  8. Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  9. US House Clerk "Roll Call 46," January 28, 2009
  10. Rasmussen "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  11. US House Clerk "Roll Call 314," June 9, 2009
  12. Rasmussen "54% Oppose “Cash for Clunkers” Plan To Spur Purchase of Greener Cars," June 23, 2009
  13. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  14. Washington Post "Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties," February 6, 2012
  15. Washington Post "Mapping the earmarks," February 6, 2012
  16. The Republic, "Ross: Redistricting making Congress more partisan by creating fewer swing districts," August 10, 2012
  17. Arkansas News Bureau, "McDaniel raises $1 million for governor’s race," October 15, 2012
  18. Arkansas Times, "McDaniel admits 'inappropriate interaction' with Hot Springs lawyer," December 18, 2013
  19. Arkansas Times, "McDaniel officially announces he's out of governor's race," January 25, 2013
  20. Arkansas Online, "Steelworkers union endorses Halter for governor," February 22, 2013
  21. Arkansas Online, "Halter to enter governor's race," January 25, 2013
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dems14
  23. Talk Business.net, "Stars aligning for Mike Ross to reconsider running for governor," December 20, 2012
  24. Arkansasonline.com, "Governor's race follow up," February 12, 2013
  25. The Associated Press - My San Antonio, "Analysis: Dem. race for Ark. gov. in '14 unsettled," March 24, 2013
  26. The Arkansas Times, "Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor," April 17, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  28. Open Secrets "Mike Ross 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 1, 2011
  29. LegiStorm "Mike Ross"
  30. OpenSecrets.org, "Ross, (D-Arkansas), 2010"
  31. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  32. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  33. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Jay Dickey
U.S. House - Arkansas District 4
Succeeded by
Tom Cotton