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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard 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 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 16 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.

It's official - Pepper is a candidate for Ohio AG

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Former Hamilton County commissioner and Cincinnati councilman David Pepper has launched his campaign to unseat Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Monday, his campaign filed papers with the Ohio Secretary of State's office, so he can begin raising money for the 2014 campaign; and has launched a campaign website.

Pepper, who was in Cleveland Monday, told WVXU he wants "to be a real advocate for the working people of Ohio."

He also said he would make the attorney general's office "less ideological, less political" than DeWine - citing a recent letter by the Republican attorney general in which he said he supports exempting private employers, if they object on religious grounds, from providing contraceptive coverage to employees.

Pepper's candidacy is no real surprise - Ohio Democratic Party leaders have been touting Pepper as a candidate for statewide office in 2014 for several months. And Pepper himself has been traveling the state, meeting with Democrats and others, ever since the 2010 election, when he ran for state auditor and lost to Republican Dave Yost.

Pepper was a Cincinnati city councilman in 2005 when he ran for Cincinnati mayor. He lost that election to fellow Democrat Mark Mallory, but came back the next year to run for county commissioner and unseated incumbent Republican Phil Heimlich.

But, instead of running for re-election as county commissioner, he ran for state auditor in 2010 - a year when the Democrats were swept out of all the statewide constitutional offices.

DeWine was elected Ohio attorney general that year. His election came four years after DeWine was ousted from the U.S. Senate by Democrat Sherrod Brown.