Dennis Ross, 56-year-old Lakeland native, is in his third term representing Congressional District 15 in the Polk County region. The district skews Republican, though a little less so after redistricting took away the cities of Bartow and Mulberry in Polk County, and Temple Terrace and Lutz in Hillsborough County.
Ross is senior deputy majority whip in GOP House leadership, but announced he would run for House Majority whip after John Boehner announced stunned official Washington last fall in announcing his resignation.
Ultimately Ross remained in his position after Republicans picked Paul Ryan to sub for Boehner.
Bay News 9 analyst Chris Ingram describes Ross as a “hidden gem” among the Florida congressional delegation.
At a Tiger Bay of Tampa event in December, Ross said he completely understood the grassroots backlash against the GOP establishment. He said he was tired of trying to defend why Boehner and other House leadership “do nothing” for the people who elected them.
“It’s one thing to vote 60 times to repeal the health care bill, but to never offer once as an alternative, is absurd,” Ross said with disdain. “It’s illogical, and it gets old.”
Ross wasn’t on the 2015 list.
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.