In decades of writing column, I don’t think I have ever started one on a personal note.
But with this most interesting year coming to a close, and a new one about to begin, I will, if you will indulge me.
For me, it has been quite a year.
After 29 years, six months and two days at the Cincinnati Enquirer, writing on politics and a myriad of other subjects, I took an early retirement offer from the Enquirer in April, leaving behind working on a daily basis with good friends and opportunities to do interesting journalism too numerous to count.
Twelve days later, I went to work for Cincinnati Public Radio – specifically, 91.7 WVXU, as a political reporter and blogger.
In some ways it was a whole new world – new technology to learn, different ways of reporting the news – but, in essence, it is the same. Journalism is journalism. It is all about bringing the news that people need to them in an accurate and interesting way.
I wasn’t exactly a stranger to public radio. I had been an avid listener since my days as a student at Ohio University in the 1970s; and, over the years, I had appeared many times on WVXU for my “expert commentary.”
It was a comfortable transition – mainly because of the quality and the professionalism of the people I work with, some of whom I had known for years. The rest I have come to know and admire.
And I’ve enjoyed hearing from WVXU listeners and visitors to wvxu.org on my new work here.
It’s all good.
And it was a presidential year, with Ohio, once again, at the heart of it all, with visits to the state by the candidates or their top surrogates on an almost daily basis.
We all know what happened. Hopefully, WVXU and National Public Radio helped you navigate through an amazing year in politics.
We’re not done yet.
2013, of course, is not a presidential election year, but there is much of interest to follow in politics over the next twelve months.
Cincinnati will elect a new mayor, after eight years of Mark Mallory. Will it result in a new direction for the city? Time will tell.
And Cincinnati will elect a new city council – this time with a field of candidates running for four year terms instead of the two-year terms we have had since the late 1920s, thanks to a ballot issue passed by Cincinnati voters in November.
All across the region, this odd-numbered year election means literally hundreds of races for councils, boards of education, township trustees in the many suburban villages, cities and townships. In Hamilton County, the Republican Party – recognizing the county’s changing demographics and voting patterns – plans to put on a fight to hold on to control of the suburban communities, while the Democrats hope to loosen the GOP’s grip on suburban government.
And then there is 2014. Yes, it will begin in 2013, with potential Democratic statewide candidates beginning to line up to take on Ohio’s first-term Republican governor, John Kasich, and the rest of the statewide officeholders in Columbus, all of whom are Republicans, thanks to the GOP sweep of Ohio in 2010.
And we may even see a few rumblings of the beginning of the 2016 presidential race.
WVXU wants its coverage of politics in 2013 to reflect what interests our listeners the most.
Don’t hesitate to let us known. If there are issues or races that you believe deserve special attention in the new year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow me on Twitter, @howardwilkinson.
And, whatever the new year brings in politics, here’s hoping it is a great new year for you.