Shelley Kofler

Managing Editor/Senior Reporter

Shelley Kofler is managing editor/senior reporter for KERA News. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who has served as KERA news director and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV. Her expertise on legislative policy issues includes school finance, foster care and transportation; and her stories on the overmedication of foster children captured the attention of state officials who strengthened laws for the use of psychotropic drugs.

Shelley also covered government issues for North Texas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV and worked with KERA on numerous public affairs projects including nationally broadcast programs. She has reported on statewide elections and presidential primaries since the late 1980s. She also founded and operated her own communications firm, Kofler Communications, in Dallas and Austin. She served as a communications strategist and media trainer for various companies, agencies and public officials.

Shelley and the KERA news team have received numerous journalism awards for their public radio and television work. In addition to all-staff honors she has been individually singled out with a first place Edward R. Murrow award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision; first place honors for political reporting from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Houston Press Club’s Lone Star competition; a first place award for covering water issues and the battle over building the Marvin Nichols dam; and a first place Lone Star award for hosting a call-in show about employment entitled, “Getting Back to Work.”

As news director, Shelley organized and participated in KERA’s coverage of the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race. She moderated the statewide-televised primary debate among Republicans: Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and candidate Debra Medina. The debate aired in every TV and radio market in Texas.

Shelley joined the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas board in 2011. She’s a native “Hoosier” from Indiana but has lived in Texas for more than two decades. She’s happiest when she can slip on her hiking boots and explore a new trail.

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Politics
9:08 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Van De Putte, Patrick Ads Battle Over Education

Democrat Leticia Van de Putte faces Republican Dan Patrick in the race for lieutenant governor.
Jennifer Whitney/Bob Daemmrich Texas Tribune

The education issue has taken center stage in the race for lieutenant governor as the two state senators duke it out on the airwaves. 

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Environment
3:30 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Video: Man-Made North Texas Wetland Provides Water For Humans And Wildlife

At the East Forks Wetland Project, plants filter wastewater that's recycled for drinking.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Texas is facing drought and a booming population. There's a unique project in North Texas that hopes to meet the state's growing thirst for water: A wetland. Wastewater flows through the wetland, where plants clean the water.

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Government
12:09 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

TxDOT Commissioner Says New Funding Could Change Reliance On Toll Roads

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck presents a volunteerism award to Victor Vandergriff in 2011.
City of Arlington

In addition to the many candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot, Texans are voting on a constitutional amendment known as Proposition 1. If it passes, a portion of oil and gas tax money flowing into the state’s rainy day savings account will be used for transportation.

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Politics
11:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

For Abbott And Davis, It's Now About Getting Supporters To Vote

Democrat Wendy Davis met with volunteers block-walking for her in Dallas on Sunday.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Two weeks of early voting begins Monday and the candidates for governor are working to get their supporters to the polls.

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Politics
12:01 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Grab Your Photo ID -- Early Voting Begins Today

Joe Shlabotnik flickr.com

Get out your voter ID and head to the polls -- early voting begins today and continues through Oct.31. 

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Government
11:26 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Supreme Court Requires Texas Voter ID For Voting That Begins Monday

When early voting begins Monday Texans will be required to show a valid Voter ID at the polls.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election.

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Politics
6:54 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Ebola 'Sucks The Oxygen' Out Of Election Coverage

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says coordinating the Ebola response leaves little time to campaign for reelection.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

On Monday, early voting begins in Texas.  If you haven’t heard a lot about it, that might be because the evolving Ebola crisis in Dallas has overwhelmed news coverage -- even in one campaign where the Ebola response seems to be the issue.

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Five Days In October
12:01 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Abbott, Davis Downplay New Toll Roads As Way To End Traffic Gridlock

A look at the new LBJ Express, which includes managed toll lanes.
LBJ Express

KERA and its media partners  -- The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV (NBC 5) -- continue Five Days in October, a week-long report about issues the governor's race. Today, we look at how Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis would address the state's growing need for infrastructure. That includes toll roads and the role they should play in relieving traffic congestion.

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Government
5:09 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Federal Court Reinstates Texas Voter ID For Upcoming Election

Julian Aguilar Texas Tribune

A federal court today confirmed that Texas voters will need a valid photo ID when early voting begins next Monday. 

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Politics
1:57 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Davis Says Wheelchair Ad Exposes Hypocrisy, Abbott Calls It Offensive

Wendy Davis' latest TV ad opens with a picture of a wheelchair which is used to represent opponent Greg Abbott.
Texas Tribune/YouTube

Greg Abbott, the Republican running for governor, says opponent Wendy Davis' TV ad that uses a wheelchair to represent him is "offensive." 

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