Howard Wilkinson

Political types on both sides agree – the race for Hamilton County commissioner between Republican Dennis Joseph Deters and Democrat Denise Driehaus is the most fiercely contested and most costly race this year for any county office.

And, if the polling that is said to be out there is correct, it may also be the closest contest, the one that keeps everyone up late on election night waiting for an outcome – quite possibly into the wee hours of the morning after.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about how both presidential campaigns - particularly the Hillary Clinton campaign - are focusing their efforts on convincing supporters to vote early. And there was a discussion of how voting percentages drop off dramatically in down-ticket races in presidential years.

Two of the three seats on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners are up for election this year; and at stake is the balance of power between the majority Republicans and the lone Democrat on the commission.

The race between Democratic state representative Denise Driehaus, who is term-limited out of the legislature, and Republican Dennis Joseph Deters, a former Colerain Township trustee who was appointed commissioner when Greg Hartmann resigned in December, is the one that has drawn most of the money and attention this fall.

Here's something that Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke and his counterpart in the Hamilton County Republican Party, Alex Triantafilou, have in common, nine days before the election.

Neither one of them has even a vague notion of which presidential candidate – Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump – is going to win Hamilton County, a swing county in a swing state.

Down-ticket races such as county recorder often get lost in the shuffle – especially in a presidential election year.

But the contest for Hamilton County recorder between two-term Democratic incumbent Wayne Coates and Republican Norbert A. Nadel, who was forced to end a nearly 40 year career as a judge in 2014 because of Ohio's age limit law, is drawing more attention than most.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Donald Trump's claims that the election is "rigged' and how Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is answering Trump. Also, Wilkinson, a serious baseball fan, says he's rooting for the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. 

It's become clear that most Republican Party leaders at all levels, local and national, are really, really tired of hearing Donald Trump going on about this election being rigged.

This election which, in fact, hasn't happened yet.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Madisonville got its start in 1809 as Madison, named after the fourth president of the United States, James Madison. 

Jim Nolan/WVXU

 

Each Friday on Cincinnati Edition, we present an in-depth look at the developments behind the headlines. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the impact Donald Trump's lewd and vulgar remarks about women in 2005 is already damaging his campaign in Ohio. 

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Ohio's junior U.S. senator, Rob Portman announced late Saturday he is rescinding his previous endorsement of Republican president nominee Donald Trump.

Portman was one of dozens of GOP leaders from around the country who have announced they can no longer support Trump, after the disclosure Friday of a 2005 video in which Trump makes lewd, vulgar comments about a married woman he said he wanted to have sex with.

Poor old Ohio. Once the bellwether of the nation; once the ultimate swing state in presidential elections.

Now, if you pay attention to some recent national news reports, Ohio is watching its bellwether status slip away. It is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of American Politics, shifting its necktie and whining that it gets no respect.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

A federal judge ruled Thursday that suspended  juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter should be allowed to vote in the November election.

The Hamilton County board of elections had removed her from the voting rolls because of her 2014 felony conviction. She faces a six-month jail term for unlawful interest in a public contract.

Hunter voted in 2015, after her conviction, but was removed from the voting rolls in March of this year because of her felony conviction.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about whether or not Hillary Clinton can win the White House without winning the key battleground state of Ohio. She is trailing in the polls by a small margin in the Buckeye State. Also, Wilkinson talked about potential cyber-security threats to the voting system. 

The Russians may be good at computer hacking, but they are not good enough to hack into Ohio's voting system, mainly because it is not connected to the internet.

And, as local election officials and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted say, there are paper records of every vote cast, to be used as a back-up.

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