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

Peace Corps

Former congressman Steve Driehaus of Price Hill, who has spent the past four years with the Peace Corps in Swaziland, is moving to Morocco to head the agency's efforts there.

Driehaus made the announcement Friday on his Facebook page.

After four years of fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland in southern Africa, Driehaus says he, his wife and children will move to Rabat, the Moroccan capital on the north coast of the African continent.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Eliot Isaac, a long-time police veteran who has been interim chief for nearly three months, is Cincinnati’s new police chief.

In city council chambers at Cincinnati City Hall Thursday morning, City Manager Harry Black made official what most in the department and city hall have believed for months would happen – he appointed Isaac the city’s new police chief.

Black said he never considered any outside candidates for the job.

Sarah Ramsey

Mayor John Cranley, along with seven of nine Cincinnati council members, have told  Hamilton County commissioners they will talk about the future of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), but not under the assumption the county will take over control.

In a letter to commissioners Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune Wednesday, Cranley and the council members  rejected the argument that the two commissioners made in a letter to Cranley last month – that MSD, plagued with continuing rate increases and allegations of mismanagement – should hand over MSD operations to the county.

 There are no less than 13 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination who would like to see a big hole poked in the balloon of front-runner Donald Trump and see him shrivel up and go away.

But there seems to be only one of them doing anything about it – the only one willing to bell the cat.

And that one is Ohio’s governor, John Kasich.

The recounts of the Nov. 3 election are over in southwestern Ohio counties; and two races – Arlington Heights mayor and a seat on Franklin city council – were decided by only one vote.

There were nine recounts altogether in Hamilton, Warren and Butler counties. Clermont County had no races close enough for a recount.

Warren County:

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

“This is not suicide by cop. It just isn’t.”

That’s the decision from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters on the June shooting death of Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim by Trepierre Hummons. Deters says Hummons called 911 to lure police to his location and then began shooting.

After Kim was shot and killed next to his cruiser, Hummons was shot and killed by a second police officer who had arrived on the scene, Specialist Thomas Sandmann. 

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony last year and facing a criminal trial in January, has taken out petitions to run as a Democrat for her now-vacant seat on the Hamilton County juvenile court bench.

She will not be an official candidate until she files the petitions by the Dec. 16 deadline and has her petitions certified by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the possibility of a divisive Republican primary for Hamilton County commissioner, with two Cincinnati council members, Charlie Winburn and Christopher Smitherman, looking like they will get into the race. 

Politics is a funny business.

Two people can be pals and political allies, and then, after the next sunrise, became political rivals, eyeing each other warily and ready to slug it out before the voters if necessary.

It happened this past week.

The allies-turned-combatants: Two Cincinnati city council members, Republican Charlie Winburn and independent Christopher Smitherman, both of whom pulled petitions Tuesday to run in the March 15 GOP primary for Hamilton County Commissioner.

Three southwest Ohio counties - Hamilton, Butler and Warren - will conduct recounts next week in nine suburban races that were extremely close in the official vote count.

Any race where there is a difference of one-half of one percent or less after the official count qualifies for an automatic recount.

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