Ballinger is a city in and the county seat of Runnels County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,243 at the 2000 census. Ballinger calls itself "The Greatest Little Town in Texas. " Ballinger is the birthplace of former nationally syndicated entertainment columnist Lane Crockett (born 1942, who was primarily affiliated with the Shreveport Times. He has been called the "prince of performance critics. " George E. "Buddy" West, a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Odessa who served from 1993—2008, was born in Ballinger in 1936. Ballinger is also known as the home of the 2003 3A High School Girls Cross Country State Champions.