Congressional Profile: Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL)
Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL) is currently ranked the most conservative Member of the House from Florida, according to our Legislative Scorecard. He first came to Congress thanks to the Tea Party wave of 2010, and has continued to live up to the conservative ideals he ran on.
Born in Lakeland, FL in 1959, Rep. Ross was the youngest of five children. He graduated from Lakeland Senior High School in 1977 and attended the University of Florida before graduating from Auburn University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. In 1982, Rep. Ross worked as a legislative aide to State Senator Dennis Jones.
He went on to graduate from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in 1987. After graduation, Rep. Ross began working in the micro-computer industry before serving as an associate with the law firm of Holland & Knight as in-house counsel to Walt Disney World. After borrowing $10,000 from his neighbor, Rep. Ross started his own law firm which represented business and industry in workers compensation matters for the next 20 years.
He was elected Chairman of the Polk County Republican Executive Committee, where he served until 1995. In 1996, Rep. Ross tried – unsuccessfully – to run for the State Senate. In 2000, he tried to run for public office once again, this time to represent Florida’s 63rd district in the State House of Representatives, a seat vacated by Adam Putnam, who was elected to represent Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Ross won that election, and served his district until 2008, when term limit required him to retire.
In 2010, Mr. Putnam was elected as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, and again Rep. Ross ran for – and won – his vacated seat.
Rep. Ross currently chairs the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy Subcommittee and is actively involved in saving the USPS without exposing taxpayers to an $85 billion bailout. He also sits on the Judiciary Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee. He is also a member of the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus.
Rep. Ross married his high school sweetheart, Cindy, and together they have two boys: Shane and Travis. The family has been to all 48 continental states, mostly via motor home. The family travels with their dogs and enjoy the great outdoors. Rep. Ross and his sons also enjoy hunting, fishing and camping.