Political news

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony last year and facing a criminal trial in January, has taken out petitions to run as a Democrat for her now-vacant seat on the Hamilton County juvenile court bench.

She will not be an official candidate until she files the petitions by the Dec. 16 deadline and has her petitions certified by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the possibility of a divisive Republican primary for Hamilton County commissioner, with two Cincinnati council members, Charlie Winburn and Christopher Smitherman, looking like they will get into the race. 

Politics is a funny business.

Two people can be pals and political allies, and then, after the next sunrise, became political rivals, eyeing each other warily and ready to slug it out before the voters if necessary.

It happened this past week.

The allies-turned-combatants: Two Cincinnati city council members, Republican Charlie Winburn and independent Christopher Smitherman, both of whom pulled petitions Tuesday to run in the March 15 GOP primary for Hamilton County Commissioner.

Three southwest Ohio counties - Hamilton, Butler and Warren - will conduct recounts next week in nine suburban races that were extremely close in the official vote count.

Any race where there is a difference of one-half of one percent or less after the official count qualifies for an automatic recount.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann’s sudden decision not to run for a third-term next year leaves the county Republican party scrambling for a replacement.

The filing deadline for candidates in the March 15 primary is Dec. 16 – 23 days from now.


Brigid Kelly of Norwood, one of six Democrats running in the March primary for the 31st Ohio House District, could have easily had an endorsement Saturday from the Hamilton County Democratic Party executive committee.

But Kelly stood up in the meeting before the vote was taken and asked them not to do it.

The endorsement might have caused hard feelings among Democrats, Kelly said.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with news director Maryanne Zeleznik about Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann's surprising decision to withdraw from his re-election campaign; and the challenges faced by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in his presidential bid. 

  To say this 2016 presidential campaign has been unusual so far is belaboring the obvious. So we apologize for that.

But it has been very, very unusual.

“The campaign is unlike anything I have ever seen,’’ said Mack Mariani, associate professor and chair of the political science department at Xavier University. “If you had made this a movie, it would not have been believable.”

Let us take, for example, Ohio’s own entry into the Republican presidential scrum, Gov. John Kasich.

Provided, Ken Rudin

The attacks in Paris last Friday placed national security and the continued threat from the Islamic State and other terrorist groups at the forefront of political discussions this week.

Hamilton County's final count in the November 5 election began Tuesday, and the results could have a major impact on some suburban races that were very close in the unofficial count on election night.

Tuesday, the board of elections approved counting 11,797 provisional ballots that were cast on election day.

The board ended up rejecting 1,028 – 666 of them because the people who cast them were not registered voters.