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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.

Prominent Black Ohio Republican Can't Support Trump

Howard Wilkinson

CLEVELAND - Clarence Mingo, the Franklin County auditor and one of the most highly-visible African-American Republicans in Ohio, has made it clear that he has no use whatsoever for the GOP's presidential nominee,  Donald Trump.

"You can't change a man's character overnight,'' said Mingo, who is an Ohio delegate to the Republican National Convention. "Donald Trump is fundamentally who he is. And who he is is not someone I can support."

The Ohio delegation – with 66 delegates and a few hundred alternates, honorary delegates and party leaders – is an island of support for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the former presidential candidate who has yet to endorse Trump and does not appear to be likely to do so any time soon.

Mingo, a Kasich supporter, spoke out earlier this year in the Ohio primary campaign about Trump; and he still believes he is the wrong choice for the party.

"I've watched him mock a person with disabilities,'' Mingo said outside the Ohio delegation breakfast Monday morning. "As a veteran of the first Persian Gulf War, I have heard him dishonor those who were prisoners of war. And, as an African-American, I have heard him make remarks that have been offensive and hurtful."

"I just can't endorse him,'' Mingo said. "I will respect him as our party's nominee, but I can't support him."

So what will he do when he goes to vote this year?

"Well, I can't vote for Hillary Clinton,'' Mingo said. "I will have to think about this."

He said that, in the meantime, he is going to concentrate on the GOP candidates below the presidential level, working for candidates like U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and others down the ticket.

"I want to be involved in getting Republicans elected," Mingo said. "But Trump – no, I just can't do it."