Howard Wilkinson

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld's bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2016. Does Sittenfeld have a chance win the nomination and unseat GOP incumbent Rob Portman?

To almost no one’s surprise, Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld announced this week that he is running for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, with the hopes of knocking off incumbent Republican Rob Portman in November 2016.

Sittenfeld is an ambitious young man; and, especially in politics, there is nothing wrong with that. He had been dropping hints that he was considering jumping into the Senate race for weeks; and people on both sides of the aisle were taking him seriously.

U.S. Congress

An icon of Kentucky politics, former governor and U.S. Senator Wendell Ford, has died at the age of 90 at his Owensboro home.

Ford, whose political career in Kentucky spanned four decades, was diagnosed last year with a malignancy on one of his lungs and had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

The Owensboro Democrat represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the U.S. Senate for a quarter of a century, from 1974 until 1999.

Some Ohio members of the House and Senate will have their own guests in the House gallery tonight when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address.

And they weren’t chosen at random.

Both House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester and Ohio’s senior senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, have invited guests who are there to make a point on public policy.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the possibility that Ohio may host both of the presidential nominating conventions next year. Cleveland has already nailed down the GOP convention; and Columbus is waiting to see if it will get the Democratic convention.

Don’t be jealous, Cincinnati, but our neighbor to the north, Columbus, may be on the verge of landing its first presidential nominating convention

And, if the Democratic National Committee decides to land its 2016 convention in Ohio’s capital city, it will mean the Buckeye State will be hosting both major party presidential nominating conventions next year. The Republicans have already chosen Cleveland, after passing over Cincinnati and a number of other cities.

Ohio’s junior senator, Republican Rob Portman, fired a shot across the bow last week – a warning shot for anyone thinking about running against him in 2016.

His campaign committee put out a long statement saying that, as of the end of 2014, Portman had $5.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign – a pretty incredible amount for 23 months before the election.

And the unspoken message was that he can get plenty more where that came from.

  With the mid-term elections behind us, national political attention is now turned to the presidential election in 2016. But what takes place on the state and local level over the next year arguably has more of an affect on the day to day lives of people and businesses.

On most Sundays, this space is devoted to partisan politics.

Not this Sunday. This Sunday it is time to step back and look at the long career of a man who transcended politics – Senior Judge S. Arthur Spiegel of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio. 

He passed away this past week at the age of 94. And, when word came out of his passing, there was a profound sense of loss among his friends, his fellow judges, and the many lawyers who appeared before him over the past 34 years – Democrat and Republican alike.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik, looking at what is coming in politics in the new year and beyond.

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