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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WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who tried and failed to win the GOP presidential nomination and then spent the rest of the campaign season turning his back on the eventual winner, Donald Trump. What does this mean for Kasich's future in politics? 

For a period of time even longer than the Chicago Cubs' 108-year drought between World Series championships, Ohio has been the bellwether of this country's presidential politics.

When Ohio went for Donald Trump on Nov. 8 it marked the 29th time in the past 31 presidential elections that Ohio went with the winner, a record unmatched by any other state in that period of time.

That's the mark of a bellwether state.

But it's not the only mark.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik about the presidential election results in Ohio and how Donald Trump outperformed even the polls that had him with a slim lead. And Wilkinson talked, too, about how Hamilton County has gone from a red county to a purple county to a blue county. 

Naturally, Democrats in Hamilton County were as shocked and disbelieving as Democrats anywhere else Tuesday night when Donald Trump won the White House, even though nearly all the indicators leading up to the election pointed to a Hillary Clinton victory.

It will take them some time to get over that; and some considerable time to figure out how they can fight back, as members of a party that doesn’t control either the executive or legislative branches of government – and are looking warily at what might happen to the judicial branch.

It's a tough pill to swallow.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The jury in the Ray Tensing murder trial has not been able to reach a verdict. The judge accepted their statement and declared a mistrial.

The former University of Cincinnati police officer was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the 2015 shooting death of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop.

Provided

The final result of two very close Hamilton County races won't be known for about two weeks until nearly 13,000 provisional ballots are counted.

But the results from Tuesday night's unofficial vote count are unlikely to be reversed.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Democrat Aftab Pureval did something Tuesday night that seemed impossible for the past few generations of Democrats in Hamilton County – he defeated a Winkler in an election.

Issue 44, a large tax levy to infuse money into the Cincinnati Public  Schools and fund a preschool program for 6,000 three- and four-year-olds,  was supported by the vast majority of the school district's voters Tuesday.

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Democratic challenger Denise Driehaus barely edged out Republican incumbent Dennis Deters Tuesday night for a seat on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. 

Kathy Groob

One of Northern Kentucky's long-standing political figures,  Joe Meyer, has ousted incumbent Sherry Carran as the mayor of Northern Kentucky's largest city.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the scene Sunday at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, as hundreds lined up to cast early in-house ballots. Through Sunday, slightly over 27,000 Hamilton County voters took had taken advantage of early voting at the board offices on Broadway downtown. 

Alright, admit it – you've seen the TV ads with the earnest looking young man talking seriously about what he would do if he were elected to be Hamilton County's clerk of courts.

You've seen the duck puppet pop up in the middle of those ads from time to time to squawk "Aftab!" Sort of like the duck in the Aflac commercials.

And, admit it, those commercials have stuck in your head, like an ear worm of a song you can't help but hum to yourself all day. Aftab! Aftab! Aftab!

What is Issue 44 about?

The Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) has not had a new levy since 2008 and could be facing large deficits in the near future.  A coalition of educators and people in the social service sector called Cincinnati Preschool Promise had been talking in recent years about how to pay for pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old child in the area.

Obviously, the battle for the White House is at the very top of this year's election fight card.

But coming in a not-too-distant second is a battle that has been brewing since the 2014 election, when Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate after eight years of the Democrats being in power.

At the beginning of the year, Democrats could smell victory in the air – all they had to do was to flip four Republicans seats and they could retake control of the Senate.

That's still a possibility in next Tuesday's election, although it's a tough row to hoe for Democrats.

One of the most contentious races in the region is taking place in Covington, where voters in Northern Kentucky's largest city are choosing a mayor.

On one side is the incumbent, Sherry Carran, a former city commissioner who was first elected mayor in 2012; and on the other, Joe Meyer, a former state representative and state senator who headed the state's Education and Workforce Development Cabinet under former governor Steve Beshear.

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