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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.

Hartmann To Leave As Commissioner Monday

Two-term Republican Greg Hartmann  said Tuesday morning he will officially resign from office on Monday, clearing the way for the Hamilton County Republican Party to name his successor.

That is likely to be Dennis Deters, a Colerain Township trustee. Deters and two other Republicans filed for the office by the Dec. 16  deadline for the March primary. Two have dropped out, leaving only Deters.

Deters, the brother of county prosecutor Joseph Deters, will face Democrat Denise Driehaus, who is term-limited out of her Ohio House seat, in the November general election.

The appointment by the Hamilton County Republican executive committee would likely come some time in early January. 

Hartmann told WVXU Tuesday morning that had intended to finish out his term, but wants to give Deters a leg-up in the November election.

“My plan was to serve all year,’’ Hartmann said. “But Dennis Deters is the only person running for my seat and he’s somebody who represents my values and can continue the good work we’ve been able to accomplish over the past seven years.”

Hartmann said he is going back to the private practice of law and will pursue business opportunities. But he said he may well run for public office again some day.

Driehaus put out a written statement on the development through her campaign. 

"Hamilton County deserves a forward-thinking commission, willing to build partnerships and invest in our future,'' Driehaus said in the written statement. "Regardless of who I'll be running against - an elected incumbent, an appointed incumbent or a traditional Republican - I'm going to work passionately to win my fellow Hamilton County residents' votes." 

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