Howard Wilkinson

Political Reporter

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.

In 2012, the Society of Professional Journalists inducted Wilkinson into the Cincinnati Journalism Hall of Fame. 

Wilkinson appears on  Cincinnati Edition, blogs on politics and more, and writes the weekly column Politically Speaking at wvxu.org.

Ways to Connect

Anderson Township

It will be up to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to decide whether Anderson Township trustee Andrew Pappas can be subpoenaed to appear before the Hamilton County Board of Elections to answer questions about his possibly illegal handling of anti-sales tax petitions in July.

WVXU-FM

The two major party candidates for Ohio governor, Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine, meet Wednesday night in Dayton for their first of three scheduled debates before the Nov. 6 election. Polling shows a race that is now a dead heat. How much does each candidate have at stake in this first debate? WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the debate and the race in general. 

Anderson Township

A complaint filed with the Hamilton County Board of Elections claims Anderson Township Trustee Andrew S. Pappas broke Ohio law while gathering petitions this summer for a repeal of a proposed sales tax increase.

But Pappas, a Republican, says in a letter to board members that it was simply a mistake on his part and offered an apology.

rob burch
Screen Grab / C-SPAN

As long as I cover politics, I will remember the name Rob Burch as a politician with nothing but moxie.

I could not blame you if you don't recognize that name.

2018 hamilton county candidates
LaRose, Sprague courtesty of candidate / all others AP

It’s not often that people feel sincerely sorry for politicians, but in Ohio, you might be able to work up a bit of sympathy for the down-ticket candidates for state offices this year.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the steady flow of  out-of-state campaign contributions - in sums generally less than $200 - are flowing to Ohio Democrats this year. In past election cycles, it was the the Republicans who took in the largest share of out-of-state money. 

marge schott
Tom Uhlman / AP

This is the tale of how Marge Schott fell in love with a cow.

john cranley
John Minchillo / AP

Cincinnati City Council over-rode a mayoral veto of a ballot issue Thursday that would allow council to hold closed-door sessions under certain circumstances.

aftab pureval attack ad
CLF Super PAC, YouTube / Screen grab

Did you ever read a Superman comic book when you were a kid?

If the answer is yes, then you probably know all about Bizarro World, the cube-shaped planet where everything is upside-down and contrary to normal expectations.

Well, welcome to Bizarro World.

black bear
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

We Ohioans live among bears.

So, too, do Kentuckians, but it's not such a big deal on their side of the river because they've gotten used to it.

donald trump
Evan Vucci / AP

If you were in charge of the Ohio Republican Party, would you want President Trump to come back to the Buckeye State again and again before the November election, as he did last Friday night at the Ohio Republican Party's annual dinner in Columbus?

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about his personal remembrances of Sen. John McCain. They also discussed why President Trump is spending so much time and energy on Ohio's mid-term election. 

john mccain
Howard Wilkinson / Personal Collection

Editor's note: John McCain died Saturday at the age of 81 from brain cancer. In the story that follows, originally published in May, WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson recalls his many times on the campaign trail with the Arizona senator and former presidential candidate. 

carolina beach postcard
Wikimedia Commons

If you lived for a time in a place known as "Pleasure Island,'' you might think that would be a pretty good place to hang your hat.

Well, I did. And it wasn't.

Patrick Semansky / AP

Some people find this hard to believe, but the race in Ohio's 1st Congressional District between Democratic challenger Aftab Pureval and Republican incumbent Steve Chabot really is one of the most competitive House races in the country.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with New Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about President Trump's scheduled appearance at the Ohio Republican Party's annual dinner in Columbus. Trump's visit could end up being used as a tool to motivate both Republican voters and Democrats to go the polls in November. 

reporter's notebook
Jennifer Merritt / WVXU

Think about it - what's the one indispensable tool of your job? The one tool without which you would barely be able to perform your duties?

Public Domain/AP

Before Tuesday's event fades into the as-yet unwritten history of the 2018 mid-term elections, here's an offering of a few thoughts on Vice President Mike Pence's speech before about 400 Trump supporters in a Cincinnati hotel ballroom:

mike pence
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Vice President Mike Pence, in front of an audience of about 400 ardent supporters of his boss, President Trump, at a downtown Cincinnati hotel ballroom, spent an hour talking about a trilogy of ideas that all made his listeners very happy.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke Monday morning with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik about the Ohio governor's race. They talked about the issues Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine are talking about on the stump; and the prospect of debates between the two. 

julie and martin weckerlein
Courtesy Julie Weckerlein

I have a lot to thank you for, Julie and Martin Weckerlein.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Updated: 3:20 p.m.

Now, homeless camps are banned from all of Hamilton County by court order. 

Voters in the Oak Hills School District overwhelmingly rejected a tax levy increase in Tuesday's special election.

aftab pureval sunshine ad
Aftab Pureval / YouTube

Updated: 9:24 a.m.

This time around, TV ads featuring a stuffed toy duck squawking Aftab! – well, that just won't do it.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

For the second time in less than 24 hours, a Hamilton County judge has ordered homeless people who had vacated a camp on Third Street to leave the new camp they established Monday night on Central Parkway across from Jack Casino.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with WVXU's Jay Hanselman about Tuesday's special congressional election in central Ohio's 12th Congressional District, which has become the focus of attention in this year's battle for control of the U.S. House. A win by Democrat Danny O'Connor over Republidan Troy Balderson would be considered a big boost for Democrats running in traditionally Republican district around the country. 

1997 flood
Mark Lyons / AP

One thing I have learned over decades as a reporter: As horrible and destructive as natural disasters can be, there is something about them that bring people together to survive and get back on their feet.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County voters won't get a chance this November to decide on whether they want to increase the sales tax next year. And they likely won't have to worry about paying two-tenths of a cent more during purchases in 2019 either. Commissioners rescinded the sales tax increase, under threat of a lawsuit.

donald trump
Evan Vucci / AP

You may well look at your ballot in November and see the names of more women candidates than you can ever remember – especially for local offices.

About time, many of you will say.

And, to put it in its simplest terms, you have one person to thank for that.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Senator Rob Portman says the United States' needs to consider new sanctions on Russia's government in order to change its behavior.

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