Howard Wilkinson

Jim Nolan/WVXU

 

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

Naturally, Democrats in Hamilton County were as shocked and disbelieving as Democrats anywhere else Tuesday night when Donald Trump won the White House, even though nearly all the indicators leading up to the election pointed to a Hillary Clinton victory.

It will take them some time to get over that; and some considerable time to figure out how they can fight back, as members of a party that doesn’t control either the executive or legislative branches of government – and are looking warily at what might happen to the judicial branch.

It's a tough pill to swallow.

Pete Rightmire/WVXU

 

News organizations across the country and around the world summed up Donald Trump's decisive victory over Hillary Clinton to become the nation's 45th president with one word: shocking. 

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The final result of two very close Hamilton County races won't be known for about two weeks until nearly 13,000 provisional ballots are counted.

But the results from Tuesday night's unofficial vote count are unlikely to be reversed.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Democrat Aftab Pureval did something Tuesday night that seemed impossible for the past few generations of Democrats in Hamilton County – he defeated a Winkler in an election.

Issue 44, a large tax levy to infuse money into the Cincinnati Public  Schools and fund a preschool program for 6,000 three- and four-year-olds,  was supported by the vast majority of the school district's voters Tuesday.

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Democratic challenger Denise Driehaus barely edged out Republican incumbent Dennis Deters Tuesday night for a seat on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. 

Kathy Groob

One of Northern Kentucky's long-standing political figures,  Joe Meyer, has ousted incumbent Sherry Carran as the mayor of Northern Kentucky's largest city.

Alright, admit it – you've seen the TV ads with the earnest looking young man talking seriously about what he would do if he were elected to be Hamilton County's clerk of courts.

You've seen the duck puppet pop up in the middle of those ads from time to time to squawk "Aftab!" Sort of like the duck in the Aflac commercials.

And, admit it, those commercials have stuck in your head, like an ear worm of a song you can't help but hum to yourself all day. Aftab! Aftab! Aftab!

What is Issue 44 about?

The Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) has not had a new levy since 2008 and could be facing large deficits in the near future.  A coalition of educators and people in the social service sector called Cincinnati Preschool Promise had been talking in recent years about how to pay for pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old child in the area.

Obviously, the battle for the White House is at the very top of this year's election fight card.

But coming in a not-too-distant second is a battle that has been brewing since the 2014 election, when Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate after eight years of the Democrats being in power.

At the beginning of the year, Democrats could smell victory in the air – all they had to do was to flip four Republicans seats and they could retake control of the Senate.

That's still a possibility in next Tuesday's election, although it's a tough row to hoe for Democrats.

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Though most political pundits say Donald Trump's chances to win 270 electoral votes, and the White House, are unlikely, latest polling shows the race is now a virtual tie between Trump and Hillary Clinton. 

One of the most contentious races in the region is taking place in Covington, where voters in Northern Kentucky's largest city are choosing a mayor.

On one side is the incumbent, Sherry Carran, a former city commissioner who was first elected mayor in 2012; and on the other, Joe Meyer, a former state representative and state senator who headed the state's Education and Workforce Development Cabinet under former governor Steve Beshear.

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-FM

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-FM

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-FM

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-FM

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.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

Suspended juvenile court  judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony in October 2014, has sued the Hamilton County Board of Elections for revoking her right to vote.

Hunter's lawyer, David Singleton, filed a 19-page motion for a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court to have her voting rights restored.

"Our argument is very simple,'' Singleton told WVXU. "The law in Ohio only prevents people who are convicted of a felony or felonies and who are incarcerated from voting. Tracie Hunter is not incarcerated."

Pete Rightmire/WVXU

 

Monday night's match-up between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most-watched presidential debate in history, with more than 84 million viewers. 

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