Howard Wilkinson

Political Reporter

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.

In 2012, the Society of Professional Journalists inducted Wilkinson into the Cincinnati Journalism Hall of Fame. 

Wilkinson appears on  Cincinnati Edition, blogs on politics and more, and writes the weekly column Politically Speaking at wvxu.org.

Ways to Connect

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.

Provided

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.  

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.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley made it crystal clear Monday afternoon in a City Hall room full of people from nearly every religious and ethnic background – Cincinnati is a "sanctuary city" for immigrants.

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.

Howard Wilkinson

Council member Charlie Winburn, surrounded by a roomful of supporters at City Hall Thursday morning, declared himself and his staff member innocent of any wrong-doing in the discovery of five boxes of material from his office in a basement storage space.

"I am pleased to announce today that the FBI and the Ohio Attorney General's office reviewed these boxes nearly two weeks ago and found absolutely no wrong-doing on the part of me or my office,'' said Winburn.

Cincinnati Police have some leads to go on to try to find the person responsible for spray painting swastikas and racial slurs on Withrow University High School over the weekend.

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.

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