Shelley Kofler | KERA News

Shelley Kofler

News Director/Texas Public Radio

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the organization in December 2014. Prior to TPR, she served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, 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. 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’s radio and television work has been honored by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Houston Press Club, and the Radio-Television Digital News Association, from whom she received a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision.

Republican Party of Texas

As 11,000 Texas Republicans gather in Fort Worth for their state party convention, KERA’s Shelley Kofler sat down with Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri for a wide-ranging conversation.

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Some 11,000 Republicans headed to their state convention in Fort Worth on Thursday will be greeted by armed protesters as they enter the convention center.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gay Republicans say they’ll fight to eliminate demeaning language about “homosexuality” in the state GOP platform when the party brings its convention to Fort Worth on Thursday.

LM Otero / Associated Press

Nationally, many tea party-backed candidates have been losing primary elections. But in Texas, tea party candidates are doing well – and they continued their winning streak during Tuesday’s runoff elections.

Jennifer Whitney/Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democrat facing the newly-nominated Republican Dan Patrick in the lieutenant governor race, said Wednesday that his pledge to meet with minority voters comes after “insulting” them.

Texas Tribune

Republican Pat Hardy of Fort Worth is fighting to keep her seat on the State Board of Education after 11 years representing parts of Tarrant, Parker and Dallas counties.

She faces tea party-backed challenger Eric Mahroum from Bedford in the May 27 runoff.  He claims Hardy has sided too often with moderate members of the board.

Mark Graham / Texas Tribune

The entire state will be watching Tuesday night as Republicans in Tarrant County decide which runoff candidate will continue and compete in the fall for Wendy Davis’ state senate seat.

The Senate District 10 runoff pits tea party candidate Konni Burton against former state representative Mark Shelton.

LM Otero / Associated Press

Lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick believes he’s the conservative who can break up the Texas Senate’s clubby, Republican establishment.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

As the raucous Republican race for lieutenant governor draws to a close, KERA invited both David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick to sit down and talk about their records and vision. Dewhurst accepted; Patrick did not. This is the first of two profiles of the candidates, plus the video conversation with Dewhurst.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Nationally, many Tea Party-backed candidates have been losing primary elections. But in Texas, Tea Party candidates are doing well. One big Tea Party organization has joined with other conservative groups. Their goal: becoming the dominant voice in Texas Republican politics. They recently urged North Texas voters to “retire” more sitting Republicans during the May 27 runoff election.      

LM Otero / Associated Press

Update: On Friday night, Jerry Patterson, an ally of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, released new court documents that suggest Dan Patrick -- Dewhurst’s GOP opponent -- was treated for attempted suicide and more serious psychiatric conditions in the 1980s than Patrick had acknowledged.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Mark Graham / The Texas Tribune

The gloves came off Wednesday during a lieutenant governor's debate in Dallas.

The ad wars in the race became the focus of the last scheduled media debate between incumbent David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick, the state senator from Houston.  One of them will become the GOP nominee on May 27. 

After finishing second in the Republican primary, Dewhurst has spent millions on TV attack ads questioning Patrick’s 1980s bankruptcy -- and his character.

Caydee Daniel / KERA

KERA has invited both Republican candidates for lieutenant governor to our studios to discuss their qualifications for the job and their visions for the state.

David Dewhurst, the incumbent, sat down with KERA on Tuesday, on the eve of the last scheduled media debate before his May 27 runoff election with Dan Patrick, the state senator from Houston.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Wichita Falls could soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater.

Yes, that includes water from toilets. For some citizens, that's a little tough to swallow.

Daniel Kramer/Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst got some good news this weekend in his uphill battle to hold onto his job. A former foe, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, told KERA he will be endorsing Dewhurst. The news comes two days after Dewhurst, the incumbent, and Dan Patrick, the frontrunner, debated in Houston.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

The Texas Water Development Board will soon decide whether to continue planning for the controversial Marvin Nichols Reservoir or take it out of the state’s water plan.

The decision is just the latest in a water battle that pits the thirsty Dallas-Fort Worth metro area against rural residents in East Texas.

Texas Tribune

Once every decade, the city of Dallas reviews its charter and recommends changes in the way it governs to voters. 

Tonight, the Charter Review Commission will hold its last public meeting in Dallas City Council chambers. Members will decide May 6 which changes to put before voters in November.

Mark Graham / Texas Tribune

A Republican running for Wendy Davis’ state senate seat wants to consider changes to the $2 billion fund that lawmakers created to finance water projects. Voters approved the fund when they adopted Proposition 6 last fall.

In an interview with NBC 5's Lone Star Politics Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Ennis, says he will soon introduce a bill that would establish a path to citizenship for the minor children of undocumented immigrants. He'll also call for creating a guest worker program.

Republican lieutenant governor candidates, waging their election battle, have used video clips without permission from a debate at KERA and made questionable claims. PolitiFact Texas at the Austin American-Statesman is setting the record straight.

Eric Aasen / KERA News

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, a Fort Worth Democrat, believes the United States can counter Russia’s insurgency in the Ukraine without deep military involvement.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

A spokesperson for developers Lyle Burgin and Rick Kopf says they have decided to suspend their efforts to build a restaurant on Boy Scout Hill in Dallas' White Rock Lake Park.

The announcement follows a raucous meeting Tuesday night with 500 vocal opponents, most of whom live near the park.  Many objected to giving up two-and-a half acres of open space and native blackland prairie for a moderately upscale restaurant and 160 parking spots.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Residents near Dallas’ White Rock Lake unloaded on developers Tuesday night as they pitched their plan for building a restaurant in the park at a location known as Boy Scout Hill.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

A standing-room only crowd is expected Tuesday night when developers try to sell East Dallas residents on their plan to build a restaurant in White Rock Lake Park. So far, opposition from those living near the lake has been loud and far outweighs any visible community support.

State Rep. Ken Paxton, a McKinney Republican in a runoff election for attorney general, says he's checking financial and business disclosures he's required to make to state agencies. It is unknown whether Paxton, seeking to be Texas' top law enforcement official, has broken any laws. He faces Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas in the May 27 Republican primary.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

A new Texas law requires public school students to decide a career track in eighth grade. It’s a sea change with challenges for schools -- and some anxiety for kids.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

On Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis continued her assault on Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s pre-kindergarten plan, this time in Dallas.

But as she spoke at the annual conference for the Texas Retired Teachers Association, a new national poll was released, showing the state senator from Fort Worth has made little headway in chiseling down Abbott’s lead.

Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, wants copies of any photos taken when his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, met Thursday with President Barack Obama. 

To get them, Abbott has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House.

Davis’ campaign says she had a private meeting with the president at the LBJ Library in Austin, where he helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

The second president at the University of North Texas at Dallas says his priorities include keeping tuition low and forging a relationship with employers who will help train students for high-demand jobs.  

President Ronald Brown talked with KERA's Shelley Kofler prior to giving his inaugural speech on Friday.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Dallas and Fort Worth school districts are ramping up efforts to enroll more eligible children in pre-kindergarten.  The push comes as gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis spar over who has a better plan for early education. 

Inside the pre-kindergarten class at Dallas’ Good Street Learning Center, it might seem like the 4-year-olds keeping time with rhythm sticks are just playing a game.

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