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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.

Pendery wins fifth term as Campbell County's judge-executive

Republican Steve Pendery has won a fifth term as Campbell County’s judge executive, defeating Democratic candidate Ken Rechtin.

With 64 of the county’s 67 precincts reporting, the 60-year-old Pendery led in the unofficial vote by 13 percentage points – 58 percent to 41 percent. WCPO reported shortly before 8:30 p.m. that Rechtin called Pendery to congratulate him on the win.

Pendery ran on his experience – 16 years as Campbell County’s judge-executive, the chief executive officer of the county. Pendery and his wife Dana have a son in the U.S. Air Force and a daughter who is a freshman at the University of Kentucky.

His campaign literature was full of photos of his family and word about his deep commitment to his home town of Fort Thomas and the county, which he said has seen an explosion of growth since the recession of the last decade

Pendery touted cooperation with its two neighboring northern Kentucky counties, Kenton and Boone, particularly through the Tri-County Economic Development  Corporation – known as Tri-ED. His argument was that while most of the jobs Tri-ED has attracted to the region have been in Boone and Kenton counties, Campbell County people are working in those new jobs. “You can’t have isolationism among countries, much less counties,’’ Pendery told WVXU.

Rechtin, on the other hand, said Campbell County has been too dependent on Tri-ED; and said he would fill the now-vacant position of county economic development director if elected.

The 64-year-old Newport Democrat also accused Pendery of being a part-time judge executive, splitting his time between his elected office and running the family insurance business with his brother.

“The judge-executive is truly the CEO of the county,’’ Rechtin told WVXU. “It is not a job you can delegate to others.”

Pendery bristled at the suggestion he does not spend enough time in the judge-executive’s office.

“Sitting in an office all the time is not how you be an executive,’’ Pendery said.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.