The Dallas Morning News Names Rick Perry as Texan of the Year

Dec 25, 2010, 12:10 ET from The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS, Dec. 25, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Morning News has named Rick Perry as its 2010 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year. The newspaper's Editorial Board cited the governor for peerless political instincts that won him an unprecedented third four-year term as Texas governor and catapulted him onto the national stage.

An editorial in editions of Sunday, December 26 pointed out that the newspaper has differed with many of Perry's policies and recommended his opponents in this year's elections. Yet Perry's imprint on Texas this year is undeniable, according to The News.

The editorial states:

"Foes and fans of our polarizing governor both acknowledge Perry's impact on Texas politics. In a weak-governor state, he has seized a bullhorn, making himself heard across Texas and beyond. For those reasons, Perry is the 2010 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year."

The editorial said that "with cowboy swagger and bold declarations," Perry successfully tapped into the feeling of "Texas exceptionalism" and voter discontent. Already the state's longest-serving governor, Perry was able to position himself as an outsider despite his 26 years in public office.

The full text of the editorial is in Sunday's paper and posted at, where readers can share their thoughts on the Texan of the Year choices.

Sunday's editorial culminated a 10-part series that named the following finalists: Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns, for his anti-bullying stand; Plano East science phenom Amy Chyao; Jennifer Smith, founder of the FocusDriven campaign against distracted driving; Dick Armey, master tactician behind the tea party movement; Greg Hall, the Houston-area drilling executive credited with the rescue plan for the Chilean miners; Texas border heroes who lend a hand to violence-wracked Ciudad Juarez, including Socorro Brito de Anda, Rich Mackey and Janet Hunt; Ed Whitacre, the former AT&T chairman who led the rescue of General Motors; Kelly Siegler, the career prosecutor credited with freeing Anthony Graves from death row; and Ron Washington, manager of the American League champion Texas Rangers.

Now in its eighth year, the Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year series draws from reader nominations to the newspaper's Editorial Board. Criteria call for "a Texan (or Texans) who has had uncommon impact; who exemplifies Texas traits of trailblazing, independence and staring down adversity; and who has affected/influenced lives. Recognition is for impact – either positive or negative – made over the past year." The Editorial Board selected the finalists and winner through an internal vote.

"Selecting the 2010 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year was extremely difficult—on a number of levels," said Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of The News. "We ultimately set emotion and personal preference aside and decided, really, who could eclipse Rick Perry as Texan of the Year? It took several votes and hours of arguing, but in the end we decided: Nobody."

Recent Dallas Morning News Texans of the Year include:

  • 2009: The Heroes of Fort Hood (recognizing those caught up in the terror of a mass shooting, extended to include all Fort Hood-based military people and their families)
  • 2008: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins (for his dedication to reversing cases of injustice)
  • 2007: the illegal immigrant (caused the political and social pot to boil, while keeping Texas' economy humming)
  • 2006: Roy Velez of Lubbock (for exemplifying love and compassion in the face of overwhelming tragedy, the war-related loss of his two sons)
  • 2005: the city of Houston (for its stellar response to Hurricane Katrina victims)

About The Dallas Morning News

Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News ( is Texas' leading newspaper. Its portfolio of print and online products reaches an average daily audience of more than 1.1 million. The newspaper has received nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. In 2010, The News received the Pulitzer Prize for an editorial series highlighting the economic disparity between the northern half and southern half of Dallas. In 2003, the paper launched the leading Spanish-language daily in North Texas, Al Dia; the standard-setting free entertainment tabloid, Quick; and the nation's first editorial blog. In 2008, the paper launched the free, home-delivered quick-read, Briefing. The Dallas Morning News is the flagship newspaper subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation.

About A. H. Belo Corporation

A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a distinguished newspaper publishing and local news and information company that owns and operates four daily newspapers and a diverse group of Web sites.  A. H. Belo publishes The Dallas Morning News, Texas' leading newspaper and winner of nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986; The Providence Journal, the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the U.S. and winner of four Pulitzer Prizes; The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), serving southern California's Inland Empire region and winner of one Pulitzer Prize; and the Denton Record-Chronicle.  The Company publishes various specialty publications targeting niche audiences, and its partnerships and/or investments include the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium and Classified Ventures, owner of  A. H. Belo also owns direct mail and commercial printing businesses.  Additional information is available at

SOURCE The Dallas Morning News