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.

Ways To Connect

A flood of legal briefs supporting and opposing same-sex marriage in Texas have been pouring into the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Tuesday was the final day for the friends of the court briefs to be filed.

Texas Tribune

It’s been smooth sailing so far for Texas Republican John Cornyn in his bid for a third term in the U.S. Senate.

His wide lead and enormous war chest have given him the luxury of waging a non-traditional campaign that includes an effort to draw minority voters into the Republican fold.

U.S. House of Representatives

Late Tuesday, Republicans in the U.S. House moved to temporarily extend the authority of the Export-Import Bank as part of a funding bill needed to prevent a government shutdown at month's end.

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Dallas Republican, has bucked businesses and some Republicans in his battle to phase out the agency that finances U.S. exports.

Stephen Becker / KERA News

Do candidate book tours promoted by a publisher violate Texas campaign contribution laws?

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, is releasing a memoir Tuesday that’s already making headlines. In it, the mother of two reveals she twice terminated pregnancies because of health issues. 

In a copy of her memoir obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, Davis writes that her unborn, already loved third daughter had an acute brain abnormality. She and her husband chose to terminate the pregnancy in 1997 after doctors told them the syndrome would cause the baby to suffer and was likely incompatible with life.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

This week Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis visited university campuses as they touted their plans for improving higher education.

But their styles couldn’t have been more different.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

On Sept. 30, the candidates for governor -- Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott -- will face off at KERA for a live, televised debate. 

We’re asking Texans to tweet their questions for the candidates using the hashtag #Texasdebates or send an email to

Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis campaigns / KERA

Later this month, KERA will host a debate between Texas governor candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis. What do you want to ask them?

We’re conducting a joint survey with The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV (NBC 5), our debate partners. Check out the survey here.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

North Texans trying to attract Tesla’s massive electric battery plant to south Dallas County will officially get the disappointing news Thursday.