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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.

Wright State University To Host Presidential Debate

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Wright State University

Wright State University will host the first presidential debate of 2016.

The Commission on Presidential Debates says the debate will be Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 at the Nutter Center.In a news release, Wright State President David R. Hopkins says, "I could not be any prouder of our university and the fact that the Commission on Presidential Debates has entrusted Wright State to host such an important event."

He adds that he's "confident that our university will excel in supporting the Commission and represent our students, faculty and staff, community, and the State of Ohio in a way that will make us all proud. This is a huge win for all of us."

More details about the event will be posted throughout the presidential campaign on Wright State's debate website.

The university was one of 16 applicants to host a debate. Wright State  was the only applicant from Ohio. In April, it said the school decided to bid because of the national and international attention that comes with hosting a debate.

“Hosting a presidential debate represents an opportunity for us to share with the world who Wright State is and what it stands for — a university in Fairborn, Ohio named after the Wright brothers that’s dedicated to transforming the lives of its students and communities it serves,” Hopkins said in an April release. “Our democracy conducts political debates for the same reason professors and students engage in classroom debate every day at Wright State. Critical thinking and open discussion empower our students and our communities with knowledge and perspective that helps move us all forward.”

Wright State's Nutter Center was, in 2008, the scene of another major event in a presidential campaign - it is where Republican presidential nominee unveiled his running mate, Sarah Palin. 

Ohio will also host the Republican National Convention next July at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. 

The Wright State debate will be the first of four hosted the Commission on Presidential Debates. 

A vice presidential debate will follow on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The presidential candidates will meet again on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The third and final presidential debate will be Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

All four debates are being held in what are likely to be key swing states in next year's presidential election - Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and Nevada.