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.

Pages

Politics
7:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Pro-Life Group Mobilizes For Dewhurst, Saying Patrick Doesn't Work Well With Others

Kyleen Wright of Texans for Life says she'll urge pro-life supporters to vote for Dewhurst.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

After finishing 13 points behind Texas Sen. Dan Patrick in the Republican primary, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told Republican women in Arlington on Thursday he may need to introduce himself to voters again, even though he’s held statewide office for 15 years.

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Politics
1:45 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ted Cruz Brings Star Power To Konni Burton's Texas Senate Campaign

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz campaigns for Konni Burton, a GOP candidate for the Texas Senate District 10 seat in Tarrant County.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Sen. Ted Cruz visited Fort Worth Wednesday night to bestow his endorsement and star power on the Republican runoff campaign of Konni Burton, a tea party candidate who wants to fill the state senate seat Wendy Davis is giving up.

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Government
4:29 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Don Huffines, Likely Headed To Texas Senate, Supports Term Limits, School Choice, Creationism

Don Huffines, the Republican Texas Senate nominee, talked with KERA's Shelley Kofler about his legislative priorities.
David Chong KERA News

When real estate developer Don Huffines narrowly defeated John Carona, Dallas County’s long-serving state senator, in the Republican primary, he promised to take a conservative, tea party approach to issues in Austin. 

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Politics
12:15 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Abbott Would Not Support State Equal Pay Measure

Abbott campaigning in Dallas.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign says he would not sign the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act, a measure that would give women more time to successfully make pay discrimination claims in state court.

Democratic opponent Wendy Davis introduced that measure in the Texas Senate last session.  The legislature passed it, but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.

Davis has hammered Abbott on the issue for two weeks claiming he doesn’t have women’s best interests at heart.

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12:41 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Preliminary Report Highlights Allen Stadium Repair Options

Lead in text: 
A preliminary forensics report outlines possible causes and solutions to the cracks in the concrete at the Allen High School football stadium. The most expensive and time consuming option involves the: ".. demolition of major structural and non-structural components, possibly including finished event-level facilities." The report notes that solution - could take the stadium offline for several months.
ALLEN - Last month, safety concerns led Allen school district officials to close the stadium, which opened less than two years ago.The stadium’s architect, PBK, has denied that any problems are from design flaws. Pogue Construction, which built the stadium, has declined to speculate on the problem but says it is working with the district to find solutions.
Health/Science
4:00 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Dallas Paleontologists Discover New Dinosaur- A Pygmy Tyrannosaur

Paleontologist Tony Fiorillo on Alaska's North Slope where Nanuqsaurus hoglundi was discovered
Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Paleontologists at Dallas’ Perot Musuem have discovered another new dinosaur species.

They found this pint-sized cousin to the Tyrannosaurus rex at the same site on Alaska’s North Slope where they unearthed another new dinosaur several years ago.  

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1:13 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Davis Continues To Pressure Abbott On Equal Pay Issue

Lead in text: 
Democrat Wendy Davis again accused her Republican opponent for governor of "dodging" when asked if he would have signed state legislation that guaranteed equal pay for women and all Texans. When asked about the Texas version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter law, Abbott told the television interviewer adequate protection already existed. Davis says that's not true in Texas's state courts, where Abbott as attorney general successfully defended the state against a wage discrimination claim made by a female Indian professor at Prairie View A&M University. Here's more on the story:
Sen. Wendy Davis and Attorney General Greg Abbott traded attacks Monday, with her slamming him over equal pay and him accusing her of "questionable ethics" in regard to her legal practice while a state senator. Equal pay is an obvious issue for Davis, who is hoping to attract female voters in her uphill race for the governor's mansion.
Politics
3:47 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Patrick And Dewhurst Both Stick By Claims Found To Be False Or Incomplete

Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst will face each other in a runoff race for the GOP lieutenant governor nomination.
Daniel Kramer / Michael Stravato Texas Tribune

As lieutenant governor candidates David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick head into a May 27 runoff election, both are standing behind comments they made last fall, even though a fact-checking group has decided some of what they said is false or misleading.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Dan Patrick's Spokesman: 'The Position For Mr. Dewhurst Is Rather Hopeless'

Daniel Kramer / Michael Stravato Texas Tribune

The runoff battle for lieutenant governor took off today with Dan Patrick’s campaign saying incumbent David Dewhurst might as well give up.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Patrick And Dewhurst Ready For Round Two, But Neither Will Get Staples' Endorsement

Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst will face each other in a May 27 runoff for the GOP lieutenant governor nomination.
Daniel Kramer / Michael Stravato Texas Tribune

The top two finishers in the Republican race for lieutenant governor are taking a deep breath Wednesday before they come out swinging in round two.

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