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

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A crowd that Donald Trump estimated at 21,000 stomped and hollered and cheered their hero Thursday night as he assailed "crooked Hillary Clinton" over and over again.

"The corruption of the Clintons know no limits,'' Trump said in a 45-minute US Bank Arena speech Thursday night.

"She's highly overrated; she couldn't pass her bar exam in Washington, D.C.,'' Trump said. "Highly overrated person."

Clinton, Trump said, is "a corrupt person….she should be locked up. She should."

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Madisonville is one of Cincinnati's largest neighborhoods, but, in 1970, an important part of its heart and soul was paved over and disappeared with barely a trace when the Red Bank Expressway was built.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the impact Donald Trump's lewd and vulgar remarks about women in 2005 is already damaging his campaign in Ohio. 

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Ohio's junior U.S. senator, Rob Portman announced late Saturday he is rescinding his previous endorsement of Republican president nominee Donald Trump.

Portman was one of dozens of GOP leaders from around the country who have announced they can no longer support Trump, after the disclosure Friday of a 2005 video in which Trump makes lewd, vulgar comments about a married woman he said he wanted to have sex with.

Poor old Ohio. Once the bellwether of the nation; once the ultimate swing state in presidential elections.

Now, if you pay attention to some recent national news reports, Ohio is watching its bellwether status slip away. It is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of American Politics, shifting its necktie and whining that it gets no respect.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

A federal judge ruled Thursday that suspended  juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter should be allowed to vote in the November election.

The Hamilton County board of elections had removed her from the voting rolls because of her 2014 felony conviction. She faces a six-month jail term for unlawful interest in a public contract.

Hunter voted in 2015, after her conviction, but was removed from the voting rolls in March of this year because of her felony conviction.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black is putting pressure on the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to eliminate long waits at streetcar stations, but SORTA officials say that will cost money.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about whether or not Hillary Clinton can win the White House without winning the key battleground state of Ohio. She is trailing in the polls by a small margin in the Buckeye State. Also, Wilkinson talked about potential cyber-security threats to the voting system. 

The Russians may be good at computer hacking, but they are not good enough to hack into Ohio's voting system, mainly because it is not connected to the internet.

And, as local election officials and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted say, there are paper records of every vote cast, to be used as a back-up.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

Suspended juvenile court  judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony in October 2014, has sued the Hamilton County Board of Elections for revoking her right to vote.

Hunter's lawyer, David Singleton, filed a 19-page motion for a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court to have her voting rights restored.

"Our argument is very simple,'' Singleton told WVXU. "The law in Ohio only prevents people who are convicted of a felony or felonies and who are incarcerated from voting. Tracie Hunter is not incarcerated."

Campaign web site

Update Sept. 2​6, 2016: The Ohio Democratic Party has taken the unusual step of endorsing a write-in candidate in the Second Congressional District race. 

Saturday, party leaders met in Columbus and gave their endorsement to Janet Everhard, a retired physician from New Richmond over the man who won the March Democratic primary, truck driver William R. Smith of Pike County.

WVXU reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about expectations for the first presidential debate tonight; and about last week's ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals saying the purge of Ohio voter rolls is unconstitutional. 

Millennials. They're a bunch of tough nuts to crack.

Especially if you are Hillary Clinton and you look at polling which shows that the 18 to 35 year old voters aren’t exactly in love with you.

Wikimedia Commons

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that Norwood voters won't be voting on a ballot issue in November which would decriminalize marijuana in the city.

Sensible Norwood, the group which circulated the petitions to put the issue on the Nov. 8 ballot, appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court after the Hamilton County Board of Elections rejected the ballot issue in August. 

There is a reason Ohio is called the bellwether of American presidential politics – a reason why it is watched so closely by the political professionals and the pundits every year.

Ohio is a microcosm of America, except in a few demographic categories, such as the percentage of Hispanic population – 17 percent nationwide, only 3.3 percent in Ohio.