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Office of the Governor of Kentucky

Shortly after the president concludes his first address to a joint session of Congress, Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will deliver the Democratic Response to President Trump’s address. Beshear was chosen by Democratic Party leaders for his record, expanding affordable health care. NPR will have a transcript of Beshear’s remarks and journalists across the NPR newsroom will also be annotating his remarks.

President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol, around 9:00 PM Eastern Time. The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.


WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about why, in early 2017, the 2018 Ohio governor's race appears to be ramping up. The main reason: It's an open seat: incumbent John Kasich can't run again. 

The Ohio Republican Party, which has done quite well in statewide elections over the past decade or so, has a nice, neat little bunch of politicians just itching to run for governor next year.

Four of them. Attorney General Mike DeWine. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth, in Medina County and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who filed paperwork with Husted's office on Thursday so she can start campaigning and, most importantly, raising money.

WVXU/Pete Rightmire


The Trump administration has been in place now for just over one month, though it seems, much, much longer. President Trump has already signed more than two dozen executive actions, fired and replaced his National Security Advisor, and ramped-up his battle with the media and the court system.

If you had been at the Hamilton County Board of Elections at 4 p.m. Thursday – the deadline for candidates for the May 2 Cincinnati mayoral primary – you may well have heard only one sound, that of crickets chirping.

All three of the candidates for Cincinnati mayor – all Democrats – had filed their petitions and qualified for the ballot long before the Thursday deadline.


The field is set for Cincinnati's mayoral primary; and it will feature three Democratic candidates.

The candidates who will be on the May 2 primary ballot filed long before Thursday's deadline.


WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the possibility of the Trump administration pulling federal funds from sanctuary cities like Cincinnati; and a Butler County legislator who wants jail time for local elected officials in sanctuary cities if an undocumented illegal immigrant commits a serious crime. 

The repercussions of the city of Cincinnati declaring itself a "sanctuary city" have spread like kudzu on a Georgia highway.

We've had Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, standing at the lectern in the White House briefing room specifically singling out Cincinnati as one of those cities that could lose federal funding because of its policy toward immigrants, without distinction between those here legally or illegally.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Sen. Sherrod Brown has signed on to bipartisan legislation that would give Congress power to stop President Trump from any attempt to lift sanctions against Russia.


WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the upcoming primary election for Cincinnati mayor and the three declared Democratic candidates - incumbent John Cranley, council member Yvette Simpson, and labor lawyer Rob Richardson. 

So, last Monday, just as this year's Cincinnati mayor's race was starting to get interesting, Mayor John Cranley declared Cincinnati to be sanctuary city for immigrants.

So, too, did six of nine members of City Council when they voted Wednesday for Council Member Wendell Young's sanctuary city motion – a group including one Democrat, Yvette Simpson, who is running against the Democrat Cranley in the May 2 primary election.  

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 suspending new refugee admissions for 120 days and blocking travelers from seven Muslim majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.

Provided / Gena Bell

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel joined local Republicans Tuesday in opposing Mayor John Cranley's announcement that Cincinnati would be a sanctuary city.


WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about President Trump's claims that three to five million people voted illegally in the November 2016 election, a claim that has been refuted by Republicans and Democrats alike. 

It's rather a challenge to choose the most egregious and patently false "alternative fact" to come out of the Trump administration since its inception, but the one the president laid on Congressional leaders in a meeting last week may take the cake.

But it's early.

President Trump – who lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes but won the Electoral College – repeated his apparently long-held belief that three to five million "illegal votes" cost him the popular vote.



So much for the honeymoon period a president typically enjoys upon entering office. Many considered President Trump's inauguration speech dark and divisive. 


WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson  talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the fact that the Cincinnati Democratic Committee has some hard choices to make when it comes to endorsing (or not endorsing) a Cincinnati mayoral candidate and endorsing a slate of nine city council candidates. 

Sometime before long, the Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC), made up of the city's elected precinct executives, will gather to endorse a slate of city council candidates.

They may endorse a candidate for mayor before that.

That, after all, is the principal job of the body which represents the city's 272 precincts.


While hundreds of thousands are marching Saturday in the Women's March on Washington, thousands are expected to gather in Cincinnati for a "sister march."

The event's Facebook page shows that well over 4,000 people have signed up to say they will be there for the noon rally in Washington Park and the march to City Hall that will follow.

No one knows if all of those people will actually show up, but local organizer Billie Mays said the committee putting on the event is assuming that they will and preparing for a huge crowd in the Over-the-Rhine park.

Wikimedia Commons


The 2017 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly convened on January 3. For the first time in state history, Republicans are in control of the Kentucky House, Senate and governorship. 

VOA News

Some from the Cincinnati area will be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., because they are genuinely pleased that their candidate, Donald J. Trump, will take the oath of office and become the nation's 45th president.

Red, blue or purple.

Those are the three choices on the political spectrum for a city, a county, or a state.

Ohio voters will pick their favorite color in 2018, the next round of statewide elections, in every office from governor and U.S. senator on down.

And how they choose might determine whether the pendulum swings back from red to blue, or at least, purple, in a state where all the statewide constitutional officeholders are Republican and where Donald Trump stunned Ohio Democrats in November by winning Ohio's 18 electoral votes by a sizeable margin.

Provided / Ohio Senate Republican Caucus

Long-time bank executive Steve Wilson of Maineville has been recommended by a Republican screening committee to fill a vacant Ohio Senate seat.  Wilson would take the place of Shannon Jones, who left the 7th Senate District seat after winning a race for Warren County Commissioner in November.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections will shut its doors at 824 Broadway downtown Thursday afternoon forever.

Five days later, on Tuesday – the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday – the board will re-open for business in new, more spacious quarters at the Central Parke office complex at 4700 Smith Road in Norwood, on the site of the old General Motors plant.

It will be the first time in history Hamilton County's elections board has been located outside of downtown.

Donald Trump Press Conference

Jan 10, 2017

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating a news conference with President-elect Donald Trump, expected at 11 am ET/8am PT on Wednesday. We will be fact-checking and providing background to his remarks in real-time. We will be paying special attention to any comments about conflicts of interest, health care and national security.


President Obama's Farewell Address

Jan 10, 2017

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating President Obama's farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday night, scheduled to begin at 9 pm ET/6pm ET. The team will be adding fact-checks and background to Obama's comments as he gives them. We'll be watching in particular for remarks on his legacy, national security, health care and foreign policy, among other topics.



WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about Friday's election of Trump supporter Jane Timken as Ohio Republican Party chair over incumbent Matt Borges, an ally of Gov. John Kasich. It was a clear victory for Trump in his long-standing feud with the Ohio governor, who never endorsed Trump after he was nominated at the GOP convention in Cleveland. 

Here's the truth of the matter, as we enter a year when Cincinnati voters will choose a mayor and nine city council members.

When it comes to being competitive inside the city limits of Cincinnati, the Republican Party is sucking wind.

Rob Richardson
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Before a capacity crowd of supporters at a hall in Corryville early Tuesday evening, labor lawyer Rob Richardson Jr. became the latest entry into the race for Cincinnati mayor.