Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his political blog, his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with news director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 14 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time. 

There are many odd things about this battle within the ranks of Ohio Democrats over the U.S. Senate seat, with 30-year-old P.G. Sittenfeld, the council member from Cincinnati, taking on the 74-year-old former governor and congressman, Ted Strickland.

First, there is the fact that Sittenfeld, despite having the entire Ohio Democratic Party structure lined up against him, and the national party too, shows absolutely no sign of dropping out of the race against Strickland who has the lead not only in name recognition but in money raised.

But that’s not the strangest thing.

Last night it was all about the GOP presidential primary, with the seven candidates who didn'’t make the cut for the official debate participating in a separate forum, followed by the ten top-polling candidates taking the stage for the main event, including current front-runner Donald Trump.

Voters in Clermont County's village of Bethel rejected an additional tax levy for police protection Tuesday, while voters in Mount Healthy and Saint Bernard approved tax levy renewals.

Tuesday was a special election day in Ohio, but there were only three issues on the ballot in southwest Ohio.

Nearly 64 percent of the voters who showed up at polling places in Bethel voted against the 8 mill levy.

Tuesday’s an election day in Ohio, but very few voters in southwest Ohio will find that their polling places are open.

Ohio has 88 counties, but there are only 12 issues on the ballot in 11 of those counties.


WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the significance of Thursday's Fox News GOP presidential debate being held in Ohio. 

  We don’t know about your family, but, at our house, when Thanksgiving came around, there were two tables set up for the family feast.

One for the grown-ups – the big fancy table. Another off to the side – usually a card table with a tablecloth thrown over it – for the kiddies.

It was OK, except the mashed potatoes tended to get cold by the time they made it to the card table.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is six days into his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination. How's he doing so far? WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik about it Monday morning. 

OK, so what is John Kasich’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination all about?

Well, two-time Heisman Trophy winner and Buckeye legend Archie Griffin had it right Tuesday morning when he welcomed about 2,000 Kasich supporters to the student union on the Ohio State University campus for Kasich’s formal announcement speech.

He led them in the famous Buckeye chant, not once but twice:

“O-H,’’ Griffin hollered at the crowd. They responded accordingly, the way any good Buckeye fan would: “I-O!”


U.S. Senate

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Sanders would physically be in Cincinnati. He will, in fact, be live-streaming the event to multiple venues nationwide. 

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will bring his campaign to Cincinnati Wednesday, July 29, when he live-streams a message to supporters at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine.


  Ohio Governor John Kasich announces his presidential candidacy today, his second bid for the White House.  He enters an already-crowded field, becoming the 16th candidate to officially jump into the race.