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

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Legal teams preparing for Monday’s Supreme Court hearing over Texas election maps are gathering in Washington for a that fight pits the state and Republicans against Democrats and minorities.

The Texas Attorney General’s office will ask the Justices to approve a map adopted by GOP lawmakers.  It would likely give Republicans three of the four new Congressional districts in Texas. 

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking his presidential campaign to South Carolina where he says he can rebound after his poor, fifth place showing in Iowa. KERA’s Shelley Kofler says the Palmetto state will be a make-or-break primary for Perry.

Perry’s decision to stay in the race follows an earlier announcement that he’d reassess his candidacy. Many interpreted that to mean he was dropping out.

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Texans will be watching two of their own as Iowa republicans cast the nation’s first ballots for a presidential nominee. Lake Jackson Congressman Ron Paul, often considered out-of-step with the GOP, is expected to finish near the top. But KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports Governor Rick Perry is just trying to survive.

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In Texas many Republicans consider Governor Rick Perry the leader of their state party. But in Iowa there appears to be more voter enthusiasm for another Texas Republican, Congressman Ron Paul from Lake Jackson. KERA’s Shelley Kofler has more from voters about why they're supporting Paul.

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Again this year North Texans have told us about the unique ways they celebrate the season. We heard about festive foods, family rituals and the joy that comes from giving.

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Just as the North Texas Tollway Authority tries to shed an image of awarding lucrative sweetheart contracts, an FBI investigation is raising new questions. KERA’s Shelley Kofler has more on actions the board took Wednesday.

In a meeting where NTTA board members talked about the importance of transparency, they emerged from an executive session and quickly agreed to use public money to reimburse board member David Denison’s legal fees. But NTTA Board Chair Kenneth Barr would say little about the reason for the vote or how much money Denison will receive.

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The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) board has passed a cryptic measure that appears to authorize the NTTA to pay legal fees for a board member. 

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A Republican and a Democrat, each with some name recognition, have entered the race to replace retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. KERA's Shelley Kofler says the biggest buzz surrounds broadcaster Craig James.

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A federal judge has signed off on an agreement to delay Texas' March primary election until April 3. That will give candidates time to adjust to final redistricting maps. But KERA's Shelley Kofler reports Texas may lose some of its influence in choosing a republican presidential nominee.

If the primary had remained on March 6 Texas Republicans would have been among the 11 states taking part in the big Super Tuesday vote. The contest among presidential contenders may still close in March, and Texans could have been among the voters that decide the GOP nominee.

An agreement on when Texas will elect their party nominees could come as early as today. KERA's Shelley Kofler reports Republicans and Democrats say they're close to deciding when Texas should hold political primaries.

As of now March 6 is still the date set for the Texas Primary. But a partisan battle over which election maps should be used has resulted in a US Supreme Court hearing on January 9, with election boundaries for congressional and legislative races being decided sometime after that.

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