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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.

State Senator From Miami County Is Running For Boehner's Seat

Ohio Senate

State Sen. Bill Beagle of Tipp City has become the latest Republican to announce his candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacant 8th Congressional District seat of House Speaker John Boehner, who announced his resignation last week.

Beagle, who has represented Ohio’s 5th  Senate District since 2011, is the second Republican to formally announce he’s running. J.D. Winteregg, a part-time French teacher who works at a grain elevator in Troy, ran against Boehner in last year’s primary and has pulled petitions to run in the special election to replace him.

It’s likely to be a crowded field in the heavily Republican district, which stretches north from Butler County to Mercer County in Western Ohio.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones, who has drawn national attention in recent years for his pursuit of illegal immigrants, is expected to announce his candidacy later this week.

Beagle announced his plans in a press release Tuesday saying that “the citizens of the 8th District deserve to be represented by a conservative they can trust and who has the know-how to hit the ground running.”

“When I first ran for public office five years ago, Ohio was broken, just like Washington is today,’’ Beagle said. “Many of the decisions I’ve made since then have been tough, but those decisions helped to turn a massive budget shortfall into a surplus and turned record job losses into real opportunity for southwest Ohio.”

The district encompasses all of Butler, Preble, Darke, Miami, Clark, and part of Mercer County.

The dates for special primary and general elections to replace Boehner, who has said he will leave Congress by the end of October, will be chosen by Gov. John Kasich. It will be some time after the November election.

It could be a crowded special primary field, particularly on the Republican side. Among those said to be possible candidates are State Sen. Bill Coley of Liberty Township, State Rep. Tim Derickson of Oxford, State Sen. Chris Widener of Clark County and former State Sen. Gary Cates of Butler County.

Democratic party officials in the heavily Republican district have said they will have a candidate, but no one has come forward yet.