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

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

As expected, Cincinnati mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls found plenty to disagree about in their first debate Tuesday before a group of Cincinnati business leaders.

But they also hit upon a few areas of agreement.

Not surprisingly, they both told a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber-sponsored luncheon at the Cincinnati Museum Center that they oppose raising the city’ 2.1 percent income tax as a way to deal with the city’s chronic budget shortfalls.

Provided

The first of two debates between Cincinnati mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls takes place early this afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

After an 11:30 a.m. luncheon, Qualls and Cranley will debate for an hour, with the focus on "issues of importance to the business community,'' according to Lance Barry, spokesman for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, which is sponsoring the event.

The audience of about 100 will be primarily made up of Cincinnati business leaders.

There are 201,843 registered voters in the city of Cincinnati.

Tuesday, in a primary election for mayor, 11,455 of them cast ballots.

That works out to 5.68 percent.

We are in our 40th year of covering elections; and have yet to see a candidate race where the turnout was so abysmally low.

Even on September 11, 2001, the day of the first ever Cincinnati mayoral primary and a day when the entire nation was in shock, grief and rage over the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, about 15 percent of the electorate turned out.

Provided

Jeffrey Blackwell, the deputy police chief of Columbus, has been chosen as Cincinnati's new police, chief, city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. announced Friday afternoon.

Blackwell, a 26-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, was chosen by Dohoney from four finalists to be the permanent replacement for former chief James Craig, who left Cincinnati in June to become Detroit's police chief.

City of Cincinnati

Tuesday’s primary election left just two candidates in the race to be Cincinnati’s next mayor. We discuss each candidate’s campaigns and their chance of success in the November general election with Xavier University Assistant Director for Philosophy, Politics, and the Public Honors, Dr. Gene Beaupre, and XU Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Dr. Mack D. Mariani. We also take a look at how the race for city council is shaping up.

Provided

Tuesday's mayoral primary election, with its record low turnout of 5.68 percent, has convinced former mayor and congressman David Mann that Cincinnati needs a new way of electing its mayor.

Mann, who is now running for city council with Democratic and Charter Committee endorsements, said that if he is elected, he will introduce a charter amendment that will replace the direct election of the mayor system that has been in place since 2001.

Provided

The result of Tuesday’s Cincinnati mayoral primary was a foregone conclusion – former city council member John Cranley will face Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls in the November election.

But the double-digit lead that Cranley had over Qualls is not good news for Qualls’ ambition to replace Mayor Mark Mallory as Cincinnati’s mayor.

With all of Cincinnati’s 175 precincts reporting late Tuesday night, Cranley had 55.8 percent of the vote to 37.15 percent for Qualls in the unofficial vote count.

Official Portrait

Ohio's junior senator, Rob Portman of Terrace Park, took to the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning to say he would not vote to authorize the Obama administration's proposed use of military force against Syria.

The polls are open in Cincinnati, as city residents take their first step toward choosing a new mayor in today's primary election election.

Polling places opened at 6:30 a.m. and the voting ends at 7:30 p.m.

Board of elections officials are expecting a very low turnout. Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke, the chairman of the elections board, said this morning he believes turnout could be as low as 10 percent.

Official Portrait

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will deliver a lecture on the life and career of his former Senate colleague, Jim Bunning, on Friday at Northern Kentucky University. .

The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. Friday in the University Center Otto Budig Theater on the NKU campus.

Bunning, a former congressman and major league pitcher, will be there. It will be the fourth lecture in a series by McConnell on "Prominent Kentuckians in the U.S. Senate."

Bunning retired from the Senate in 2010; and was replaced by Sen. Rand Paul.

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