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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.

Field of 22 file for nine Cincinnati City Council seats

A field of 22 candidates filed petitions by Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline to run for nine Cincinnati City Council seats in the Nov. 5 election.

Board of Elections officials said late Thursday afternoon they were still checking the petitions of four of those candidates to see if they have the required 500 valid signatures of Cincinnati voters to qualify for the ballot.

At least one new council member will be elected in November, because Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls is running for mayor.

There are no party designations on the ballot, but the Democratic Party has endorsed 10 candidates, while the Republican Party has endorsed four. The Charter Committee has six endorsed candidates. Four of the Charter candidates have endorsements from other parties - Amy Murray (Republican), David Mann (Democratic), Greg Landsman (Democratic), and incumbent Yvette Simpson, a Democrat.

All eight incumbents are running for re-election - Republican Charlie Winburn, independent Christopher Smitherman, Laure Quinlivan, Chris Seelbach, Simpson, Pam Thomas, P.G. Sittenfeld and Wendell Young. The Democrats have also endorsed challenger Michelle Dillingham.

The board was still checking the petitions of Republican endorsed candidate Sam Malone Thursday. The Republicans are also running first-time candidate Melissa Wegman.

The Charter Committee has given endorsements to Kevin Flynn and Vanessa White, a Cincinnati school board member.

The independent candidates who filed are Angela Beamon, Timothy Joseph Dornbusch, Kevin Johnson, Mike Moroski, and Nick Noel.

The top nine finishers in the November field race will become the new city council on Dec. 1.