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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.

Michelle Schneider Takes Over For Rival As An Ohio Delegate

Howard Wilkinson

Cleveland - There was a time when State Sen. Shannon Jones and former state representative Michelle Schneider were close friends.

All of that ended six years ago when Jones and Schneider faced each other in a state senate race.

Now, ironically, Schneider, of Indian Hill, is in Cleveland this week as Jones' replacement as an Ohio delegate.

"And I couldn't be happier to be here,'' Schneider said Sunday afternoon, as hundreds of Ohio delegates, alternates and party leaders crowded into the Doubletree Inn on the shores of Lake Erie to check in at the Ohio delegation hotel.

"Shannon didn't want it; and I did,'' Schneider said.

In June, Jones – who is running this year for Warren County commissioner – resigned as a delegate. Even though she is a delegate bound to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, as are all the Ohio delegates, she said at the time she could not be part of a convention that was going to nominate real estate mogul Donald Trump.

She said at the time that Trump, with his rhetoric, is not the kind of example she wants the Republican Party to set for her children.

Schneider said she was approached by party leaders about filling Jones' spot, and she said she was definitely interested.

"When I got the word that it was going to be me, I had to pull my car off the side of the road, I was so excited,'' Schneider said.

This is her first Republican presidential convention.

She says that, unlike Jones, she has no qualms about supporting Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

"This is a real turning point in our country; we need new leadership,'' Schneider said. "Donald Trump and Mike Pence make me feel safe and secure."

A decade ago, when Jones and Schneider were both serving in the Ohio House, they were close friends who shared an apartment in Columbus while the legislature was in session.

But, in June 2009, State Sen. Bob Schuler died; and the GOP Senate leadership passed over Schneider and appointed Jones to the seat.

Schneider challenged her in the 2010 GOP primary, but lost to Jones by about 8,000 votes. Schneider has been out of office since then.

"I’m really glad for the opportunity to serve again,'' Schneider said. "This should be pretty exciting."

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.