Ben Philpott — Click for higher resolution staff photos

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

Accusations Abound as Parties Fight to the Finish

Candidates, campaign workers and election officials are all gearing up for an end to the 2010 election cycle — and tension is the order of the day. In Travis County, there's a battle brewing between the Republican and Democratic parties, with allegations of voter intimidation and illegal voting flying back and forth. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 

Keep Austin Sane

While tens of thousands of people crowded the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Austinites gathered at the Texas Capitol for a companion event. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 

The History of the Shuttle Program, Part Five

As the nation's shuttle program moves toward its scheduled end next year, observers are asking: What's next for manned space exploration? Ben Philpott reports on how federal funding changes for NASA will determine the answer. Full Story 
Voting signs in Austin during the 2010 election cycle. Caleb Bryant Miller

Sign Language

With just a few days left in the 2010 campaign, political signs are littering streets across Texas. But are they saying something other than "vote for me"? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune asked Brent Ladd of GSD&M's Idea City to demystify color and font choice and the decision to feature a candidate's picture. Full Story 
El Paso Times

Vote Aquí

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White has spent plenty of time reaching out to the Hispanic voting bloc as part of his strategy to oust Gov. Rick Perry. Republicans have launched their own PAC focused on bringing Latinos under the GOP tent. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the soon-to-be-majority population doesn't appear to be rushing to the ballot box. Full Story 

Perry Declines, But the Debate Must Go On

Two weeks before Election Day, three Texas gubernatorial candidates debated the issues and made a final plea for support. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, one of them was not Gov. Rick Perry.

Full Story 
State Rep. Diana Maldonado, D-Round Rock, and Republican challenger Larry Gonzales. Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Where They Stand: HD-52

In House District 52 — southern Williamson County — incumbent Democrat Diana Maldonado faces one of her party's toughest challengers in Republican Larry Gonzales. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at how the candidates would set priorities for a fast-growing part of state. Full Story 
Jacqueline Mermea

Rock the Mid-Terms?

Mailboxes and the airwaves will be flooded with political ads over the last two weeks of the general election, and much of that final push will be focused on likely voters. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, most young people just don't fall into that category. Full Story 

Where They Stand: The Governor's Race

In the absence of a real debate between Gov. Rick Perry and his Democratic challenger, Bill White, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has created the next best thing: a mash-up of their answers to questions asked Friday by the Tribune's Evan Smith during one-hour interviews of the candidates sponsored by the Trib, KUT and Austin public television station KLRU. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

A Wave or a Tsunami?

A surge in Republican enthusiasm nationwide has the GOP hopeful about taking back the U.S. House and, maybe, the U.S. Senate in November. In Texas, that high tide has turned a handful of what are usually considered safe Democratic House seats into live targets. Ben Philpott of KUT and the Tribune reports. Full Story 

Where They Stand: SBOE District 10

Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune is reporting this week on the hard-fought battles for Central Texas seats on the State Board of Education. Today: where candidates in District 10 — which covers 16 counties, including Williamson, Bastrop and parts of Travis — stand on a variety of issues. Full Story 

Where They Stand: HD-47

In House District 47 — which sits entirely within Travis County — incumbent Democrat Valinda Bolton is locked in a tight race with Republican Paul Workman. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at where the candidates stand on the issue of transportation. Full Story 

Where They Stand: SBOE District 5

Over the next two days, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune will report on the hard-fought battles for Central Texas seats on the State Board of Education. Today: where candidates in District 5 — which covers 12 counties, including Hays, Caldwell and parts of Travis — stand on a variety of issues. Full Story 
State Rep. Donna Howard,  D-Austin,  and her GOP challenger, Dan Neil. Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Where They Stand: HD-48

Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at where the candidates running in House District 48 stand on the issue of education. Full Story 
Illustration by Bob Daemmrich/Todd Wiseman

Where They Stand: HD-45

In House District 45 — which covers Hays, Blanco and Caldwell counties — incumbent Democrat Patrick Rose faces a stiff challenge from Republican Jason Isaac. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at where the candidates stand on two flashpoints this election year: the budget and immigration. Full Story