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

Ways to Connect

  "Odd" is a word that describes many things about the 2016 election cycle, beginning with the presidential race and working its way down to the bottom of the political food chain.

It's certainly a good word to describe recent events in Ohio's U.S. Senate race, where incumbent Republican Rob Portman is trying to win re-election over former Democratic governor Ted Strickland.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati Bell will pay $3.4 million over the next 10 years for naming rights to Cincinnati's streetcar system, which is set to begin operating on Sept. 9.

The agreement will provide $340,000 a year to help pay for streetcar operations – minus the commission that goes to the company which negotiated the contract with Cincinnati Bell.

The 3.6 mile streetcar system, which runs from Over-the-Rhine to the riverfront, has an estimated $4 million annual operating cost.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will speak on back-to-back days at the American Legion's national convention, which begins in Cincinnati later this month.

The convention is being held at the Duke Energy Convention Center Aug. 26 through Sept. 1. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, is expected to address the veterans' organization on Wednesday, Aug. 31, while the Republican candidate, Trump, will make his speech to the group Thursday, Sept. 1.

About 9,000 veterans, family members and guests are expected to attend the convention.

Wikimedia Commons

A group that wants Norwood voters to decriminalize marijuana will have to argue its case Monday before the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Cincinnati Council Member Wendell Young made it clear Monday that despite filing an unfair labor practice charge against Mayor John Cranley, he is completely in support of raises for public workers.

But he totally disagrees with Cranley's plan to bypass the city manager and have council pass wage increases of five percent this year and four percent next year.

WVXU politics reporter talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about a Sept. 13 Democratic election in the 8th Congressional District that will feature only one candidate on the ballot; and the lack of a Trump "victory center" in Hamilton County, a key county in the race for Ohio's electoral votes. 

Attention! Calling all Democrats of Ohio's Eighth Congressional District!

You have a special election Sept. 13!

And when we say "special," we mean very special indeed.  

 Incumbent Republican Rob Portman's has a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Ted Strickland in Ohio's U.S. Senate race, a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday morning said.

According to the poll, Portman leads Strickland, the former governor, by nine percentage points – 49 percent to 40 percent.

Howard Wilkinson

After months of speculation, Cincinnati Council Member Yvette Simpson announced Wednesday morning that she will take on incumbent John Cranley in next year's mayor's race.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Tana Weingartner Monday morning about polling in the presidential race, both in the key swing state of Ohio and nationally; and how Trump's campaign has gotten under the skin of of many GOP leaders, who want him to tone down his rhetoric.

 Let's imagine for a moment that you are Donald Trump, right now, today.

Alright, that may be an extraordinarily difficult task for many of you, but let's use our imaginations.

So you, Donald Trump, are coming out of what has been a very bad week.

With the Democratic National Convention only a week in the rear view mirror, this is the time when you, as the Republican nominee for president, need to be honing your message against your opponent, Hillary Clinton, and going on the offense  against her on a raft of potential issues.

Voters in the Southwest Local School District rejected a combination bond issue and tax levy for new school construction Tuesday, while voters in two Hamilton County communities passed tax levy renewals.

Tuesday was an election day in Ohio, but very little was on the ballot and most polling places were closed. Warren and Clermont counties had nothing on the ballot.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

PHILADELPHIA – As a vice chair of the Democratic National Convention here this week, State Rep. Alicia Reece of Cincinnati has had an inside view of how a mammoth operation like this works.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

PHILADELPHIA – Jerry Springer is many things to many people.

To those who have were in Cincinnati in the 1970s and 1980s, he was a Cincinnati council member and mayor; and later a local TV news anchor.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

PHILADELPHIA – Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland stood in front of the Ohio delegation Thursday morning, trailing in the polls in his U.S. Senate race, and called himself the "36 million dollar man."