Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

Democratic Ohio House Candidate Kelly Passes On Party Endorsement


Brigid Kelly of Norwood, one of six Democrats running in the March primary for the 31st Ohio House District, could have easily had an endorsement Saturday from the Hamilton County Democratic Party executive committee.

But Kelly stood up in the meeting before the vote was taken and asked them not to do it.

The endorsement might have caused hard feelings among Democrats, Kelly said.

“It would have been a distraction that we don’t need,’’ said Kelly, a union organizer for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 75. “We should be spending our time talking about what is important to us as Democrats, not an endorsement.”

Prior to Saturday’s executive committee meeting, there had been an on-going disagreement about whether or not the party should endorse.

In late October, five of the six Democrats who plan to run in the March primary sent a letter to Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke saying that the party should stay out of the battle and let the Democrats of the district decide.

Kelly did not sign the letter.

The candidates who did were Nicholas Hollan, an unsuccessful candidate for Cincinnati council in 2009 and 2011; Paul Booth, a former city council member and former NAACP president; Brian Garry, a former city council candidate; Paul Sohi, a dentist who ran an unsuccessful campaign in the 9th Ohio Senate District primary last year; and Ben Lindy, a first time candidate who is executive director of Teach for America of Southwest Ohio.

Four of the candidates refused to appear before a screening committee that met Nov. 14 at Burke’s office. Kelly was interviewed by the screening committee by phone because she was out of town; and Lindy was interviewed in person.

The screening committee ended up one vote shy of the two-thirds majority it needed to recommend an endorsement to the executive committee.

Over 100 members of the 180-member executive committee met last Saturday and held a long discussion about whether or not to endorse.

Burke said it was clear to him that there were enough votes in the room to endorse Kelly.

But just before an endorsement vote was called, Kelly took the floor and asked that no endorsement be made. She told the executive committee she hoped they as individuals would help her as she campaign in the 31st Ohio House District.

“I’m proud of the support I have had and I think we can run a winning campaign,’’ Kelly told WVXU.

The district is heavily Democratic.

It includes Oakley, Hyde Park, Madisonville, Norwood, Evanston, Walnut Hills, Mt. Auburn, Corryville, Clifton, University Heights, Clifton Heights, Fairview, part of Hyde Park, part of Northside and all of St. Bernard, Silverton and Amberley Village. 

It is represented now by Democrat Denise Driehaus, who is term-limited out. Driehaus is running for Hamilton County commissioner. 

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