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


Each morning this week Howard Wilkinson will join Maryanne Zeleznik to talk about the Republican National Convention.  Here's today's chat:

Ohio has "the most important delegation from the most important state in the most important country in the world,'' Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary to President George W. Bush told the Ohio delegation Monday morning.

"You have a profoundly important job to do, and, boy, do you know how to do it,'' Fleischer told the delegates at their morning breakfast in Tampa. "You need to deliver Ohio for Mitt Romney."

Despite the fact that Tampa is taking only an indirect hit from Tropical Storm Isaac, calling off the Monday sessions was the right call, Ohio Republican Party chairman Bob Bennett said this morning.

"A few days ago, it looked like it would be a direct hit,'' Bennett told reporters before the Ohio delegation breakfast Monday. "They made the right call."

The Ohio delegation to the Republican National Convention in Tampa was to have heard from Mitt Romney's son, Craig this morning, but the middle child of Romney's five sons, Josh is now going to take his place.

Josh is rumored to have his own political ambitions.

With the convention sessions canceled today because of weather conditions, most delegates will be stuck at the hotel; and, at 12:45, they will get an extra treat - former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who ran for the GOP nomination and lost, will visit the Ohio delegates.  


With Tropical Storm Isaac about to pass by Tampa Bay in the Gulf of Mexico Monday, Ohio's delegation to the Republican National Convention streamed into a resort hotel on the north side of Tampa Sunday, and had barely unpacked their bags before the partying began.

A half dozen buses lined up outside the Mainsail Suites and Conference Center - home to the Ohio delegation this week - to take them across Tampa Bay to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for "The Welcome Event," a three-hour extravaganza of music and entertainment meant to kick off the party convention.

Ohio's delegation to the Republican National Convention - set to begin Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in downtown Tampa - is already gathering in the city on the bay, hoping for a convention that will give its presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, a bounce in the polls.

They're also hoping to stave off disaster - natural disaster, in this case, which is entirely possible given the fact that Tropical Storm Isaac could be at hurricane status by the time it passes by the Tampa Bay area in the Gulf of Mexico, probably on Monday.


Grammy Award winning singer John Legend is the headline draw for the opening of a new Obama-Biden campaign office in Over-the-Rhine early Thursday evening.

Legend, a native of Springfield, Ohio, is expected to be at the new office at 1130 Main Street at 6:30 p.m.

The politically-active Legend, who has won nine Grammy Awards, is the son of a worker at an auto manufacturing plant and is expected to talk to the crowd about President Obama's bailout of the auto industry, which the campaign argues saved thousands of jobs in Ohio.

Both the presidential contest between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney and Ohio's U.S. Senate race are dead heats, according to an Ohio Poll released this morning by University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research.

Obama holds a 3 percentage point advantage over Romney among likely Ohio voters, 49 percent to 46 percent - within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman won't be the vice presidential candidate nominated at next week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, but he will be one of the opening acts Wednesday for the man who is to be number two on the GOP ticket, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Portman is scheduled to speak to the convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa Wednesday night, during prime time, and just after former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Following Portman to the podium will be Columbus business owner Steve Cohen of Screen Machine Industries.

Howard Wilkinson talks about Ohio Secretary of State John Husted's decision on voting hours, Paul Ryan as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee and the Republican Convention which begins in a week.