Ben Philpott Reporter

Ben Philpott is a senior reporter for KUT-FM, Austin's National Public Radio affiliate. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002, during which time he has been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Houston Press Club and the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Recent Contributions

In Texas, Some Political Ground Games Go Digital

Audrey Abbott, left, joins her father, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, to greet (from right) Matthew Tucker, Ellen Tucker, Michael Tucker and Joy Baughman during a block walk on Nov. 9., 2013, in Austin.
Audrey Abbott, left, joins her father, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, to greet (from right) Matthew Tucker, Ellen Tucker, Michael Tucker and Joy Baughman during a block walk on Nov. 9., 2013, in Austin.

When most Texas voters think of traditional political campaigns, they envision blockwalking and yard signs. In many races, however, the modern-day "ground game" has gone digital. 

In Dueling Speeches, Lt. Gov. Candidates Tout Business Credentials

State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.
State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.

No debates have been scheduled yet between lieutenant governor candidates Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte. But the two spoke in front of the same crowd on Thursday, making a case for their candidacies and promoting their support for business. You can read the full story here.

Issue That Dogged Perry Now Offers Him an Inroad

Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.

Gov. Rick Perry took a beating on the presidential campaign trail for what some conservatives considered his soft stance on immigration. But now, as he eyes another bid, the same issue is allowing him to appeal to the voters who once rejected him.

Spotlight on Austin as Civil Rights Summit Begins

Mark K. Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library, with, President Jimmy Carter. Updegrove is hosting an April summit featuring four presidents.
Mark K. Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library, with, President Jimmy Carter. Updegrove is hosting an April summit featuring four presidents.

Four U.S. presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter — will visit Austin this week for a three-day summit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Lt. Gov. Candidates Spar in Dallas Debate

Clockwise, the four GOP Candidates for Lt. Gov.: incumbent David Dewhurst, Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples; Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.
Clockwise, the four GOP Candidates for Lt. Gov.: incumbent David Dewhurst, Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples; Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

The four Republican candidates for lieutenant governor took on end-of-life issues, border security and, of course, one another in an hour-long debate in Dallas. 

Fast-Food Strikes Put Spotlight on Minimum Wage Debate

Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.
Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.

Fast-food workers walked off the job in several Texas cities on Thursday as part of a national strike calling for higher wages. But proposals to raise the minimum wage face uncertain odds in Washington and even longer odds in Texas.