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. 

Michael Keating

This week WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about the Ohio Governor's race and the changing attitudes on gay marriage, with Maryanne Zeleznik.

U.S. Sen Rob Portman's son, Will, wrote a column in today's Yale Daily News, explaining in great detail how he decided to "come out of the closet" about being gay; and how his father reacted.

The junior senator from Ohio learned his son was gay two years ago. Earlier this month, Portman came out in favor of gay marriage, the only Republican senator who has done so.

Would the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage passed by an overwhelming majority of Ohioans in 2004 pass if it were on the ballot today?

We may soon find out.

We went through an entire presidential election cycle with barely a peep from the candidates on social issues such as gay marriage.

Now, though, the debate over gay marriage is front and center in Ohio.

Brian Bull / WCPN

Another Ohio Democrat - former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton - has said she won't run for governor in 2014, leaving the field nearly wide open for the only active candidate, Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald.

Sutton told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an e-mail Friday that she thanked her supporters, but said "I have decided that I will not run for governor in 2014."

Michael Keating

Hamilton County Democrats will get a look at their only active candidate for Ohio governor on April 11, when Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is the featured speaker at a county party fundraising reception.

FitzGerald, the 44-year-old former mayor of the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, announced last week he was forming an exploratory committee for a run for Ohio governor in 2014, when the Republican incumbent, John Kasich is up for re-election.

Michael Keating

 Gay rights at the forefront the past several days as Senator Rob Portman announced he was no longer opposed to gay marriage and several Cincinnati Council members decided to boycott the Saint Patrick's Day Parade when a Gay rights group was not allowed to participate.  WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about what it all means politically. 

photo by Michael Keating

In his weekly chat this morning, WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about Cincinnati's plan to lease its parking facilities and why the issue has ended up in court.

photo by Michael Keating

WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about some of Ohio Governor John Kasich's latest moves.

This week WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about the certified results of the Presidential Election in Ohio and the upcoming Cincinnati Mayor's race.

Friday night - only three days before the election - Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are bringing their campaign to Butler County, one of the deepest mines of GOP votes in the Buckeye State, for a rally in West Chester.

The rally - which also features the presidential candidate's wife, Ann Romney - will be at The Square at Unon Centre, 9285 Centre Point Drive, West Chester.

The doors open at 4:30 p.m., with the program set to begin at 7 p.m.

It is a ticketed event. Tickets are available at