Dennis A. Ross
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Dennis A. Ross
Dennis Ross
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 15th district
12th (2011-2013)

January 3, 2011 - January 3, 2019
Adam Putnam
Ross Spano
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 63rd district

November 7, 2000 - November 4, 2008
Adam Putnam
Seth McKeel
Personal details
Dennis Alan Ross

(1959-10-18) October 18, 1959 (age 60)
Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Cindy Hartley (m. 1983)
EducationUniversity of Florida
Auburn University (BA)
Samford University (JD)

Dennis Alan Ross (born October 18, 1959) is an American businessman and politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 2011 to 2019. A Republican from Florida, his district was numbered as Florida's 12th congressional district during his first two years in Congress, and it was numbered as the 15th district during his last six years in Congress.

In April 2018, Ross announced that he would retire from Congress, and not run for re-election in 2018.[1]

Starting in 2018, Ross became a distinguished professor of political science at Southeastern University and launched the American Center for Political Leadership (ACPL) in the Jannetides College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership.[2]

Early life, education, and business career

Ross was born October 18, 1959 in Lakeland, Florida, the youngest of five children born to Bill and Loyola Ross.[3] He attended Catholic school for nine years before graduating at Lakeland Senior High School in 1977. After high school, he attended the University of Florida before transferring to Auburn University where he graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management. He then graduated from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in 1987.[4]

Ross went to work in the newly developed micro-computer industry working for several companies. He went on to serve briefly as an Associate with the law firm of Holland & Knight and was in-house counsel to Walt Disney World. Subsequent to his time at Disney, he opened up his own law firm, Ross Vecchio P.A., representing Business and Industry in Workers Compensation matters for over 20 years. As Ross was elected to Congress, his former firm was required to change its name to Vecchio, Carrier, Feldman and Johannessen.

Early political career

Ross went on to work for a year as a legislative aide in St. Petersburg to State Senator Dennis Jones in 1982. He was elected Chairman of the Polk County Republican Executive Committee, and served until 1995. In 1996, he ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate, losing to incumbent Democratic State Senator Rick Dantzler. In 2000, he ran for the 63rd district of the Florida House of Representatives, vacated by Adam Putnam.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives



Ross decided to run for Florida's 12th congressional district, vacated for retiring Adam Putnam, who decided to run for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. In the Republican primary, Ross defeated John W. Lindsey, Jr. 69%-31%.[6] In the general election, he defeated Democrat Lori Edwards, the Polk County Supervisor of Elections, TEA Party candidate Randy Wilkinson, a Polk County Commissioner, 48%-41%-11%.[7] This was the second time Ross succeeded Putnam.[8]

In 2009 Ross signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[9]


After redistricting, Ross decided to run in the newly redrawn Florida's 15th congressional district.[10] Because no other candidate qualified to run against him by the deadline, he won re-election to a second term unopposed.[11][12]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Domestic issues


Ross had a "D" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Ross is against veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.[19]


Ross had a 13% score from the Humane Society Legislative Fund for his voting history on animal rights issues.[20]

Gun law

As of 2017, Ross had an "A-" rating from the NRA, indicating a voting record that was generally pro-guns.[21] According to, Ross has received $19,375 since 2010 in direct and indirect campaign contributions from the NRA and its affiliate organizations.[22] As a Congressman, Ross has voted in favor of several pieces of legislation to expand gun rights, including a yes vote on H. R. 38, which would enable concealed carry reciprocity among all States if and when it is signed into law.[23] In March 2017, Ross voted in favor of the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, which, if signed into law, will allow veterans who are considered "mentally incompetent" to purchase ammunition and firearms unless declared a danger by a judge.[24] Ross also voted in favor of H.J.Res.40, which successfully used the Congressional Review Act to block implementation of an Obama-era Amendment to the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 that was aimed at preventing the mentally-infirm from legally purchasing firearms.[25]

Following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Ross signed a letter written to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives urging them to reevaluate the legal status of bump stocks, though no action has been taken as of March 2018.[26] Of bump stocks, Ross said, "I believe in taking the important step to outlaw devices that make a firearm simulate an automatic firearm. I fully support the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms--this is about consistent enforcement of the automatic weapons ban."[27]

After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Ross released a statement announcing his support for bipartisan measures, including increasing funding for background checks, as well support for H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, which has not been voted on as of March 2018. Ross said that the Act would "establish and support evidence-based programs to help school personnel, law enforcement, and students recognize the warning signs, develop effective threat assessments, and operate anonymous reporting programs."[28]


Tax reform

Ross voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[29]

International issues

Immigration and refugees

Ross supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, calling the controversial order a "long overdue" measure to "ensure our country is safe from radical Islamic jihadists."[30]

Social issues


Ross is pro-life. He was in favor of banning federal health benefits from covering abortions, as well as any federal money being used to fund abortions, the latter unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or if the mother's life is in danger. He co-sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which states that life begins at fertilization. He wants to stop Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding.[31]


Ross co-sponsored the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, which sought to fund $110 million to teach abstinence in public schools.[32]


  1. ^ Leary, Alex; Bousquet, Steve (April 11, 2018). "Republican Congressman Dennis Ross is retiring". Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay, FL. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross Joins SEU to Launch American Center for Political Leadership". Southeastern University. 2018-10-24. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. 2010-11-04. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-08. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Seth Stern 112th Congress: Dennis Ross, R-Fla. (12th District) CQ Politics November 2, 2010
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 12 - R Primary Race - Aug 24, 2010".
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 12 Race - Nov 02, 2010".
  8. ^ "Dennis Ross for Congress". Dennis Ross for Congress.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-19. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ross.pdf
  10. ^ "Florida Division of Elections Candidate List".[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "RealClearPolitics - Politics - Jun 08, 2012 - Qualifying for Florida elections wraps up".
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 15 Race - Nov 06, 2012".
  13. ^ "Congressman Dennis Ross". Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "Members". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ "Florida Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "Dennis Ross on Environment". On The Issues. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ "Dennis Ross' Political Summary on Issue: Guns". ISPY. Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ "Guns & money: How all members of Congress are affected by the NRA's spending". Congressman Ed Perlmutter. U. S. Federal Government. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 663". U.S. Federal Government. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 169". U.S. Federal Government. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 77". U. S. Federal Government. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "Letter to the Hon. Thomas Brandon, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives - Bipartisan Letter to Ban Bump Stocks" (PDF). Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "Rep. Dennis Ross on Bump Stocks: "This is about consistent enforcement of the automatic weapons ban"". U. S. Representative Dennis A. Ross. U. S. Federal Government. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ "In Darkness, There is Hope". U. S. Representative Dennis A. Ross. U. S. Federal Government. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 31, 2017). "Whip Count: Here's where Republicans stand on Trump's controversial travel ban". Washington Post.
  31. ^ "Dennis Ross on Abortion". On The Issues. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ "Dennis Ross on Education". On The Issues. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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