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

Comparing Current Recession to Past Recessions

Both Texas and the U.S. at large have begun climbing out of the latest economic recession. Now economists have begun looking back on the 2008-2009 downturn to see how it compared to other recent down economies. KUT reports on a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas that puts the most recent recession at the top of the list. Ben Philpott is reporting for KUT News and the Texas Tribune.

Holly Turner & Paul Workman in HD-47 Runoff

Republicans in southwest Travis County still need to pick between Paul Workman and Holly Turner before setting their sights on Democratic State Representative Valinda Bolton. Ben Philpott, who's covering the 2010 elections for the Tribune and KUT News, has more on the runoff race in House District 47.

Texas Lands Millions for e-Health Records

Federal officials announced more than $162 million in health information technology grants today — including $28.8 million to help the Texas Health and Human Services Commission make the switch to electronic medical records. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described the funding, which went to 16 states as part of the federal stimulus act, in an afternoon press conference.

Rick Perry & Bill White Change Gov's Race Messages

In the run-up to last Tuesday's primary, gubernatorial candidates of both parties courted activists by talking about topics that were near and dear to their hearts. For the general election campaign, as they compete for the votes of a broader electorate, Rick Perry and Bill White will likely shift the substance and tone of their stump speeches. Ben Philpott, covering the governor's race for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

Why Did Kay Bailey Hutchison Lose Election

Now that the battle is over in the Republican primary for governor, the pundits can begin the task of figuring out what worked for Rick Perry — and what didn't for Kay Bailey Hutchison. Ben Philpott, who's covering the 2010 elections for the Tribune and KUT News, shares an early post-election view from two veteran strategists.

Bill White & Rick Perry Face Off in November

The race for Texas governor moves on to November, as Rick Perry and Bill White emerged from their respective primaries without a runoff. Each used his victory speech as springboards for the coming slugfest. Ben Philpott, covering the 2010 elections for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

Perry and White Will Face Off for Governor

Rick Perry, Bill White
Rick Perry, Bill White

Gov. Rick Perry and former Houston Mayor Bill White claimed their parties' gubernatorial nominations Tuesday night. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison conceded the GOP primary, congratulating Perry on his 11th consecutive statewide victory. White, meanwhile, had enough votes to call an early victory over Farouk Shami and five other Democrats, declaring, "We're gonna have some fun, and Texans are going to come together." Later, he sent a message about a conversation with Shami: "Just spoke to Farouk Shami. Very gracious. He'll help me. I do like his idea of building solar panel factories in Texas."

Perry and White Take Big Leads Into Election Day

If you believe the pollsters, the outcomes of today's Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries are all but set, as Rick Perry and Bill White have big leads in their respective races. It's not exactly the photo finish that pundits were expecting — especially from the GOP side. Ben Philpott, covering the 2010 elections for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

Texas Election Cost Candidates $55 Million

Will gubernatorial contests that have already cost more than $51 million last another six weeks? Will there be runoffs in judicial, legislative, or other down-ballot races? Will Texas voters go for the smart ones, the rich ones, the kooks, the old pros, the kids, or the insurgents? We'll soon know the answers to these and other pressing primary questions.

Bunning Blocks Federal Health Insurance Benifits

U.S. Senator Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, is blocking a federal spending bill that could keep some unemployed Texans from getting extended benefits, including subsidies for health insurance. Bunning wants lawmakers to make budget cuts elsewhere before passing the bill, which would also pay for transportation projects. Ben Philpott filed this report for KUT News and the Tribune.

Does Enterprise Fund Help Rick Perry Re-election

Facebook is opening up a satellite office in Austin — the first one in Texas for the California-based social media giant. The move, which will create 200 jobs, was sealed with $1.4 million from Gov. Rick Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund. The governor on Thursday also announced 100 new jobs for the small town of Cuero, thanks again to the TEF. Ben Philpott, who's covering the 2010 elections for KUT News and the Tribune and KUT News, reports on how the job-creating fund can be a pretty effective campaign tool as well.

Texas House District 47 Race Preview

This southwest Travis County district includes some of the area's most affluent suburbs but has also been home to some headline-making white-collar job cutbacks. State Rep. Valinda Bolton, D-Austin, first won here in 2006 and was narrowly re-elected in 2008. Ben Philpott, reporting for KUT News and the Tribune, looks at the three Republicans competing to challenge her in the fall.