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

Texas Republicans and Democrats fight at polls

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.

Austin Rallies for "Sanity"

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.

What's Next for Manned Space Exploration?

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.

What Do Political Signs Say Beyond "Vote for Me"?

Voting signs in Austin during the 2010 election cycle.
Voting signs in Austin during the 2010 election cycle.
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.

Hispanic Turnout Again at Issue

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.

Maldonado, Gonzales on Fast Growth

State Rep. Diana Maldonado, D-Round Rock, and Republican challenger Larry Gonzales.
State Rep. Diana Maldonado, D-Round Rock, and Republican challenger Larry Gonzales.
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.

Will Young People Show Up at the Polls?

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.

Perry and White Give Separate Interviews

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.

Democrats Face Challenges in Strong GOP Year

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.

Jennings, Farney Agree State Board Must Change

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.

Bolton, Workman Talk Transportation

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.

Mercer, Bell-Metereau Battle Over Social Ideology

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.

Rose and Isaac on Immigration and the Budget

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.