Ben Philpott

Senior Editor

Ben Philpott is the Sr. Editor for KUT. He’s also co-host of The Ticket 2016, a podcast produced by KUT and the Texas Tribune covering the presidential election. Ben has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and has been named Radio Journalist of the Year by the Houston Press club four times.

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.

Ways to Connect

Julia Reihs / KUT

Political party conventions are always about the future – the next election, to be specific, but also the five- and 10-year plan for growth.

The last couple of decades for Texas Republicans have been pretty rock solid. In 2014, Gov. Greg Abbott won the election by 20 points. And in the 2018 primaries, Republicans set records for voter turnout in an off-year election.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas' top Republican lawmakers spent the morning Friday revving up the crowd at their convention in San Antonio. Now the heavy lifting of this biennial event begins.

The delegates vote on a party chairman and then begin debate on the state party platform. The (currently) 38-page document lists the party's priorities, plans and ideals.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Thousands of Republicans are in San Antonio this week for the state convention. They'll bring plenty of red, white and blue clothing – along with elephant hats. But in the midst of the spectacle, there's work getting done by party officials and delegates. Here's a little checklist of what to watch for over the next three days.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Update: Of the seven congressional nominations up Tuesday night in Central Texas, only two were competitive.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for CD 25, Julie Oliver pulled away late in the evening to beat Chris Perri by a couple thousand votes. Oliver now heads to November and a race against incumbent Republican Roger Williams and Libertarian Desarae Lindsey.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Tribune has called the Democratic primary runoff for House District 46 race for Sheryl Cole. The former Austin mayor pro-tem held a close lead throughout the night. But her opponent, immigration attorney Chito Vela, couldn’t overcome a 400-vote deficit from early voting totals.

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