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.

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Tuesday is an election day in Ohio, but relatively few voters in southwest Ohio will have anything to vote on.

The polls won’t be open in Butler and Clermont counties, because there are no issues on the ballot.

In Hamilton County, only voters in Mount Healthy and the Lockland Local School District will be going to the polls. In Lockland, voters will decide an additional 11.2 mill tax levy for the schools. In Mount Healthy, voters will be asked to approve the renewal of a five mill tax levy for fire and emergency medical services.

WVXU's political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Ann Thompson about the likely confirmation of Harry Black as Cincinnati's 15th city manager this week.

It appears that, eight months into his term as Cincinnati’s mayor, John Cranley has found his soul mate.

Amid a flurry of media interviews and press conferences this past week, Cranley introduced his choice to become the city’s next city manager – 51-year-old Harry E. Black, who, for the past two-and-a-half years, has been the finance director of the city of Baltimore.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has selected a new city manager. Mayor Cranley’s pick is Harry Black, who has been the finance director for the City of  Baltimore since early 2012. Mr. Black also served as Richmond, Virginia’s chief financial officer from 2005 to 2008. Howard Wilkinson sat down with Harry Black to talk about his move to Cincinnati.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Harry E. Black, the Baltimore finance director tapped by Mayor John Cranley to be Cincinnati’s next city manager, uses football analogies to describe his management style.

In an interview with WVXU, the 51-year-old Black said that in his 28 years in local government his management style has “evolved into one that can be characterized as coaching – collaborative, collegial, but very outcome-driven.”

Harry E. Black, the finance director in Baltimore, is Mayor John Cranley’s pick to be Cincinnati’s next city manager, according to a source close to the mayor.

"I'm very excited about this,'' Cranley said in a news conference this afternoon in the mayor's office. "Here's a guy who lifted himself up by  his own bootstraps in a very tough neighborhood of Baltimore."

As finance director in Baltimore, Cranley said, he guided the city to the first upgrade in the city's credit rating in 10 years.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald trails incumbent Republican John Kasich by 12 percentage points and is still not well known to about two-third of Ohio voters, according to an independent poll released this morning.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which polls voters in key states, has Kasich with 48 percent to FitzGerald’s 36 percent.

In May, Kasich led FitzGerald by 15 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac Poll.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the recently concluded National Urban League Conference in Cincinnati; and the two headline speakers - Vice President Joe Biden and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

There’s one thing you can say for certain about the small-government, libertarian-leaning junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, who (presumably) would like to be the next president of the United States.

He doesn’t shy away from a tough crowd.

Paul did it last year when he made a speech before a somewhat less than receptive crowd at Howard University, the historically black college in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Senate office

Rand Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator and a likely contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, pitched his ideas of economic and personal freedom to a polite but small crowd this morning at the National Urban League Conference.

Paul’s early morning speech, which lasted about 17 minutes, was seen as part of his continuing effort to reach out to minority voters, particularly African-Americans, in order to broaden the GOP voter base.

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