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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.

Elections director Searcy appointed to judgeship

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Hamilton County elections director Amy Searcy has been appointed to a domestic relations court judgeship, effective Monday.

The incumbent Republican judge, Beth Mattingly, and retired withdrawn as a candidate for re-election.

The Hamilton County Republican Party's executive committee appointed sent three names, including Searcy, to Gov. John Kasich for the Mattingly vacancy and he appointed Searcy to take her place. Searcy will replace Mattingly on the November ballot and run against Democrat Ray Pater, a lawyer from Clifton Heights who is executive director of the Butler County Child Support Enforcement Agency.

Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou, a member of the board of elections, said a search will being  for a replacement for Searcy at the board of elections. Elections administrator Sherry Poland has been named interim director of the board of elections.

Under Ohio election, the county elections director has to be of the same political party as the Ohio secretary of state, while the chairman of the county elections board and the deputy director have to be from the  other party. Secretary of State Jon Husted is a Republican. That is why Searcy's replacement at the board of elections will be a Republican.