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

Sarah Ramsey

A Democratic Party screening committee tasked with recommending a slate of Cincinnati City Council candidates has come up with a list of nine it would like to see endorsed.

But the biggest surprise on the list is the absence of the name of former council member Laure Quinlivan, who has taken out petitions to run again and interviewed last week with the 17-member screening committee of the Cincinnati Democratic Committee (CDC).

Yvette Simpson
Provided

Born to a mentally ill mother and drug-addicted father, Yvette Simpson was raised by her grandmother in Lincoln Heights until the age of 16. Then, when her grandmother had to move into senior living; and the teenager spent the last two years of her schooling at Princeton High School bouncing around, living with friends and other families.

All of her young life, she was surrounded by poverty, crime and violence.

"I saw people who were really good people, who were really hurt people, who ended up doing very violent things,'' Simpson told WVXU.

Provided

On May 2, Cincinnati voters take their first step in deciding who will be the city's mayor for the next four years.

There are three candidates in the May 2 primary; and all three are Democrats – incumbent John Cranley, Council Member Yvette Simpson, and former University of Cincinnati trustee Rob Richardson.

John Cranley
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

John Cranley was only 26 in 2000 when he burst on to the political scene, taking on Republican Steve Chabot in the First Congressional District, losing with 45 percent of the vote.

Six years later, he tried again, taking on Chabot in a another race where he lost with 48 percent of the vote.

A graduate of St. Xavier High School, Cranley has an impressive academic record – a magna cum laude graduate of John Carroll University in philosophy and political science and degrees from both the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Divinity School.

Rob Richardson
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Rob Richardson, a 38-year-old Mount Auburn resident, knows he owes much to family members who came before him for the successes he has had in life – earning a law degree and an electrical engineering degree at the University of Cincinnati, serving for nine years as a trustee of his alma mater, and now as he attempts to stake out a path for himself in politics.

Back in early January, before a packed house in a hall in Corryville, Richardson announced his candidacy for mayor – as a first-time candidate for any elected office – and spoke movingly of the story of his family.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about where things stand in Cincinnati's mayoral primary, which takes place two weeks from Tuesday. The final two weeks is when voters generally start focusing on races like this. 

Aside from the televised (and non-televised) debates, the May 2 primary for Cincinnati mayor is being waged in advertising, and lots of it.

There was a time when that meant principally broadcast TV advertising, but those days are long gone.

Now, candidates are spreading their message with strategically placed YouTube videos, and paid advertisements on social media sites.

If you are in or near Cincinnati, you have probably seen mayoral race ads – particularly for incumbent John Cranley – pop up multiple times daily.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Jay Hanselman Monday morning about the 2017 Cincinnati City Council and how it is likely to be a large field in the fall because of four-year terms and three open seats. 

With a mayoral primary election only 23 days away, this year's Cincinnati Council election seems like something happening in a galaxy far, far away.

After all, the filing deadline for candidates for Cincinnati City Council is nearly four months from now – on August 9. Four months is an eternity in politics.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Tuesday is the first day of early voting in Ohio for the May 2 primary election.

But not everyone in southwestern Ohio will have any candidate races or ballot issues to decide in this election.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Monday, on the streets of Over-the-Rhine, at the party on the Banks, and, most importantly, in the packed stands of Great American Ball Park, thousands of memories will be made.

Memories for the young and the old – but mostly for the young. The kids who will be going to their first Opening Day and will carry with them memories that they will be able to recall to their children and grandchildren in vivid detail.

Howard Wilkinson

Bond Hill – No one who has been following Cincinnati's three-way race for mayor would have been surprised at Tuesday night's debate to hear the candidates wrangling and snapping at each other over the still-controversial streetcar.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the large number of Democrats coming out to run for Congress and Cincinnati City Council. Could the election of Donald Trump last fall be fueling this surge in Democrats running for office? 

There are still about 19 months before anyone in the U.S. has to vote in the mid-term Congressional elections of 2018 – a fact that would make one think that things are rather quiet on that front these days.

Except they aren't quiet.

In fact, there is a small crowd of potential Democrats gathering (and organizing) to take on three-term incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup in Ohio's Second Congressional District next year.

Does this seem odd to you? In this heavily Republican district, one that stretches from eastern Hamilton County east to Pike and Scioto counties?

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the growing number of Democratic candidates for Ohio governor; and how both the Republicans and Democrats are likely to have lively primary battles for governor in 2018 

Pages