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

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.

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.

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.

Ordinarily, if a presidential candidate were to win the battleground state of Ohio by a fairly sizeable margin of 446,841 votes out of slightly more than 7.8 million cast, you might think that candidate and his political party in Ohio would be on very good terms.

That margin of victory for Donald Trump is the largest for a GOP presidential candidate in Ohio since George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Ohio Republicans should be dancing in the streets.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Four Cincinnati council members are calling for an investigation into the firing of the former Cincinnati Police Chief.   Jeffrey Blackwell was dismissed in September 2015. Terms of a settlement related to his departure came out earlier this week.

Ohio House of Representatives website

UPDATE, 12/29: 

Former state representative Peter Beck has been released from prison, but the Ohio Attorney General's office wants the Ohio First District Court of Appeals to reconsider the decision that ended Beck's incarceration. 

The appeals court had thrown out 10 of the 13 criminal counts Beck was convicted of in August 15 and sent the case back to Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Last week, Judge Thomas Heekin ordered Beck released from prison after serving 16 months of a four-year sentence. 

Beck's lawyer, Pierre Bergeron, said he will oppose the Ohio Attorney General's request. If the appeals court turns down the prosecution's request, the Ohio Attorney General could try to get the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case. 

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Former state representative Peter Beck will be released from prison early, just in time for Christmas.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Heekin ruled Thursday morning in favor of Beck's motion to have his four-year prison sentence reduced to his time served, which is 16 months. Beck has been in a southeast Ohio prison since his sentencing in August 2015 on 13 felony counts.

Jon Hughes

Clermont County's Bob Proud is a politician, through and through. He doesn't shy away from the term.

To Proud, the term politician equates to "public servant."

And the service extends beyond what is required to be a county commissioner. In Proud's case, it extends to a very large community of military families in Clermont County who have found a friend and constant companion in good times and bad.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Ohio's Electoral College members, who will stay in line and vote for Donald Trump. And he spoke about Ohio Gov. John Kasich - earlier this year, when he was running for president, he talked about Ohio's economic "miracle." But now he is suggesting Ohio could be headed into a recession. 

Provided / Joseph Beth Booksellers

Dr. Henry Heimlich died Saturday. He was known around the world for the maneuver that bears his name along with the many medical devices and procedures he’s developed.

WVXU's Howard Wilkinson spoke with Heimlich in 2014 following the release of his autobiography, Heimlich's Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Lifesaving Innovation.

Here's an encore presentation of that conversation:

Ohio House of Representatives

A state appeals court has thrown out 10 of the 13 felony charges former state representative Peter Beck was convicted on last year.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the funeral plans for former astronaut and U.S. Senator John H. Glenn Jr., who died last week  at the age of 95. And Wilkinson also talked about the brewing battle for control of the Ohio Republican Party between the forces loyal to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and supporters of president-elect Donald Trump. 

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Republican, versus incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democrat.

Sound familiar?

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