Howard Wilkinson

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.

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.

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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.

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.

hillary clinton mailings
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Most of the American people have never seen Hillary Clinton lose her temper or blow her cool, reasoned demeanor in public.

Not even when she would have been entirely justified in doing so, after being provoked again and again two years ago.

sales tax petition
Public Records

There is a three-foot stack of forms over at the office of Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes that contain 38,065 signatures.

Some are the legitimate, valid signatures of Hamilton County voters.

Some are not.

aftab pureval steve chabot
John Minchillo / AP

Democrat Aftab Pureval appears to be making headway in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, according to one of the nation's leading political publications.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about speculation that Ohio's senior senator, Sherrod Brown, might be interested in running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. First of all, though, Brown must focus on getting re-elected this fall. 

barack obama dayton
Skip Peterson / AP

Ed. note: Howard Wilkinson launched his "Tales from the Trail" column on July 15, 2017, in an effort to take you behind the scenes of politics and hear some of the funny—and occasionally outright bizarre—situations that happen on the campaign trail. Since Wilkinson has been covering politics for more than 40 years, he has plenty of stories to tell. To mark the one-year anniversary of his column, we are republishing Wilkinson's first-ever "Tales from the Trail" here today.  

aftax sales tax petition
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Hamilton County Republicans who mounted a petition drive to put an issue on the November ballot repealing a .02 percent increase in the sales tax marched into the county auditor's office with a tall stack of about 37,800 signatures Wednesday afternoon.

rich cordray jeopardy
Jeopardy! / YouTube

Let's play a little bit of the game show Jeopardy! today.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke Monday with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik about Ohio's lame duck governor, John Kasich, and his role as the Republican most critical of President Trump. Hardly a week goes by where Kasich doesn't appear on Sunday news talk shows to lambast Trump's policies. 

Nam Y. Huh / AP

The world—and I do mean, the world, just about all of it—knows one Jerry Springer.

In Cincinnati, we know another. 

donald trump jim renacci
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Here's what you have to do sometimes when you are covering politics.

You have to drag yourself to some boring old parlor at a downtown hotel early on a Tuesday morning so you can witness a politician – in this case, GOP Senate candidate Jim Renacci – sign his name to two big pieces of cardboard.

jim renacci cincinnati
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Renacci held a press conference and mini-rally of supporters at a downtown Cincinnati hotel Tuesday morning where he tried a ploy that was used against his Democrat incumbent Sherrod Brown six years ago.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked Monday morning with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik about the Ohio governor's race between Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine and how close a race it is likely to be - despite DeWine's money advantage. 

donald trump cincinnati
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Donald Trump, both as candidate and president, has made a habit of blaming everything that is wrong in this country on the news media, calling them "dishonest" and "corrupt" and even the enemy of the people.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

A recent poll shows Republican Mike DeWine leading Democrat Richard Cordray by four points in the Ohio governor's race. But things don't look as good for the GOP in Ohio's U.S. Senate contest. The multi-million dollar scandal involving the charter school Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, could play a major role in the November elections. And covering the Trump White House as the president continues to label the press as the enemy.

Courtesy Alex Triantafilou

Hamilton Co. GOP chairman and former judge Alex Triantafilou has applied for a vacant judgeship on the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Courtesy Stephanie Dumas

Before the May 8 primary, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who believed that former Forest Park Mayor Stephanie Summerow Dumas would win the Democratic primary for Hamilton County Commissioner.

roy rogers
Howard Wilkinson / Personal Collection

People often tell me I have been lucky because I have been in a profession that has enabled me to do a lot of things that most folks will never have the chance to do.

And they're right. I am grateful for that.

sherrod brown
John Beagle / Flickr Creative Commons

Does the Ohio Republican Party have reason to be worried about November's statewide election?

Yes. Yes, they do. They can read the tea leaves and they are no fools.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about how polling and some fundraising numbers have Ohio Democrats feeling good about their chances of winning some state offices that have been under Republican control for many years. There are no guarantees, but the Democrats are cautiously optimistic. 

john mccain
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Here's another story that ought to convince you that John McCain is not your typical politician.

gabby giffords aftab pureval
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Democratic congressional candidate Aftab Pureval, joined by former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, stood before about 125 supporters – mostly women – in a North Avondale front yard Wednesday to launch a "Women for Aftab" organization.

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