2016 primary election

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the possibility of a divisive Republican primary for Hamilton County commissioner, with two Cincinnati council members, Charlie Winburn and Christopher Smitherman, looking like they will get into the race. 

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the disagreement within the Hamilton County Democratic Party about whether or not to endorse in the 31st Ohio House District race. Six candidates are running. 

Hamilton County Democrats can’t go too long without a good family fight.

They pop up regularly; and, more often than not, they involve whether or not the party should endorse for this office or that.

Well, the time has come again.

As of Thursday, early absentee ballots cast in Hamilton County in the May 6 primary were down 80 percent from what they were four years ago.

Democrats say this is explained by the fact that, unlike the May 2010 primary, every voter in the county was not mailed an absentee ballot application by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Republicans say it is simply a matter of no big candidate race or ballot issue driving early voters to get their ballots and mail them in – that this is, in fact, a ho-hum election.

The numbers are really striking.

Many believe that a Democratic candidate might as well try to climb Mount Everest with one arm tied behind his or her back  than take on Rep. Steve Chabot in the heavily Republican 1st Congressional District.

But two local Democrats – Fred Kundrata of Pendleton and Jim Prues of North Avondale – are willing to strap on the gear and give it a shot.

Prues and Kundrata are vying for the Democratic nomination in the 1st District in the May 6 primary election.

Time was when taking on Chabot was not such a daunting task.

Today is the last day to register to vote in Ohio's May 6 primary election.

By order of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, all of Ohio's 88 county boards of elections will be open until 9.p.m. today to accommodate those registering and for in-person early voting.

For links to more information and to all of Ohio's 88 county boards of elections, you can go to MyOhioVote.com. You can also update your voter registration information, such as a change of address, at that website.

In this week's Monday morning politics chat, Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about John Boehner actually spending money in his 8th Congressional District Republican primary and Cincinnati's chances of landing the 2016 Republican National Convention.