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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.

Plenty of May primary choices for SW Ohio voters

There will be no shortage of contested races in the four southwest Ohio counties in the May primary.

The deadline for candidates to file for the May primary was 4 p.m. today.

The following is a list of the contested races. It is not the final, official list because petitions still have to be checked by county boards of elections for some of the candidates who filed. Here’s who filed:

Hamilton County:

9th Ohio Senate District: Incumbent Democrat Eric Kearney is term-limited out; and his open seat has drawn a crowd in the Democratic primary.

Those who filed are State Rep. Dale Mallory (term-limited from his Ohio House seat), former Cincinnati councilman Cecil Thomas, former Cincinnati school board member Catherine Ingram, Paul Sohi, a dentist from Mount Auburn; and Angela Beamon, who ran near the bottom as an independent candidate in last fall’s Cincinnati council election.

Second Congressional District: Incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup has no opposition, but four little-known Democrats filed petitions. They are William R. Smith (who was overwhelmingly defeated by Wenstrup in 2012), Ronny Richards, Marek Tyszkewitz, and John Sheil.

28th Ohio House District: State Rep. Connie Pillich is the Democratic candidate for state treasurer so her House seat is open. Three Republicans filed: Rick Bryan, a Blue Ash council member and former mayor; Kimberly Angel Clark, and Jonathan Dever. Micah Kamrass, who is finishing law school at The Ohio State University, is the sole Democrat in the race.

27th Ohio House race: State Rep. Peter Stautberg is being challenged once again by former state representative Tom Brinkman in the eastern Hamilton County district. Brinkman ran against Stautberg in 2012 and lost decisively.

31st Ohio House seat: Two Republicans are vying to take on incumbent Democrat Denise Driehaus – Mark Auer an Mary E. Yeager.

Hamilton County Commissioner (Democrat): Two Democrats filed in the primary to run against incumbent Republican Chris Monzel in the fall. Both are little known - Sean Patrick Feeney of North College Hill and Paul Komarek, a member of the Hamilton County Democratic Party's executive committee.

An expected primary in the 32 Ohio House District for Dale Mallory’s seat didn’t materialize. Christie Bryant, a Northside attorney who has the backing of the Democratic party. Bentley Davis, a party activist, had planned to file but decided she could not run because of the demands of her job as state director of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

Warren County:

54th Ohio House District: Incumbent Republican Peter Beck is under indictment on fraud and theft charges and awaiting trial in April. But he is a candidate for re-election. Two Republicans filed to challenge him in the primary – Mary Jo Kubicki of Mason and Paul Zeltwanger of Mason.

Warren County commissioner:

Incumbent Republican Tom Ariss is being challenged in the primary by Tom Grossman of Mason and Cathy Anspach of Lebanon.

7th Ohio Senate District: Incumbent Republican Shannon Jones of Springboro is being challenged by Kelly Kohls, also of Springfield.

62nd Ohio House District: Incumbent Republican Ron Maag of Lebanon had three Republicans file to run against him – David Craig of Maineville, Ben Goldman of Waynesville, and Donald Walter of Franklin.

Butler County:

8th Congressional District: The Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner has drawn three GOP primary challengers – Matthew Ashworth of Hamilton, Eric Gurr of Middletown, and J.D. Winteregg of Troy. On the Democratic side, four candidates filed: Matthew Guyette of Greenville, Tom Poetter of Oxford, Morton Meier of Hamilton, and Robert Edward Crow of Youngstown (congressional candidates are not required to live in the districts where they run.)

51st Ohio House District: Incumbent Republican Wes Retherford faces two GOP challengers – former state representative Greg Jolivette and Arnold Engel of Fairfield.

52nd Ohio House District: Joseph Ebbing of Hamilton filed in the Republican primary to challenge incumbent Margaret Conditt.

Butler County Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Cindy Carpenter has drawn three challengers in the GOP primary: George Nafziger of West Chester, Julie Homes of Middletown, and Christin Matacic of Middletown.

Clermont County:  David Uible is being challenged in the primary by David Painter.

This list will be update if candidates are eliminated because of insufficient signatures on their petitions.