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Politics
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.

Ohioans Trying To Come To Terms With Trump As Their Candidate

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Howard Wilkinson
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WVXU

CLEVELAND – Every one of the 66 Ohio delegates to the Republican National Convention here are committed to cast their ballots for Gov. John Kasich Tuesday night.

And they will cast their votes for the losing candidate. Donald J. Trump will be the nominee.

Many of the Ohio delegates are having a hard time coming to grips with that, but others say it is time to get over it and deal with the reality – Trump will be at the top of the ticket this fall.

State Rep. Tim Derickson of Butler County, who ran unsuccessfully in the 8th Congressional District special primary earlier this year, is a delegate who is committed to Kasich; and has been since the start of the Ohio governor's campaign.

"I truly came up here to support John Kasich; and I'm not really anxious to jump ship,'' Derickson said in the lobby of the Ohio delegation hotel Tuesday morning. "Maybe in due time, I will come around to the idea of Donald Trump as our candidate. Maybe we all leave here in a few days and move on."

Derickson would not say anything negative about  Trump, but he clearly thinks Kasich was the superior candidate.

"To me, Kasich's experience is what I wanted to see in a presidential candidate,'' Derickson said. "To deviate from that kind of experience is the wrong thing to do. But I'm not going to be critical."

But U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, who arrived in Cleveland Monday, told WVXU at the delegation breakfast Tuesday morning that "it's time for the party to unify."

Chabot, who represents the 1st Congressional District, said he has  no qualms about supporting Trump; he said he can do so enthusiastically – even though he doesn't agree with him on every issue.

"When he was criticizing the judge who has a Mexican background, I found that objectionable,'' Chabot said. "And I disagree with him on a lot of international trade issues. But none of that disqualifies him in my mind."

"Compared to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump looks pretty good,'' Chabot said. "If we don't rally around him, what we are going to end up with is a third Obama administration."

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Credit Howard Wilkinson / WVXU
Brad Wenstrup, Ohio 2nd District Congressman

The 2nd District congressman, Brad Wenstrup, agreed.

"It's time to get over this and get on with it,'' Wenstrup said. "I've said all along I would support the nominee of our party – even if I don't agree with everything he says. But we really need to come out of here united."

Mary Anne Christie, a delegate who is the former mayor of Madeira and former president if the Ohio Federation of Republican Women, said she is "not thrilled" with Trump, but says the party faithful have no choice but to get on board.

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Credit Howard Wilkinson / WVXU
Mary Anne Christie, Delegate

"Otherwise, we are just giving away the election to Hillary," Christie said. "She wouldn't even have to campaign."

Cincinnati council member Amy Murray is in Cleveland as an honorary delegate, attending her first convention.

The speeches from the first night of the convention "were better than I expected. The best were the ones who weren't politicians."

As for whether or not she would go out and campaign publicly for Trump, Murray wouldn't say. And she was careful not to be critical of the billionaire nominee.

"That's for each individual to decide,'' Murray said. "What I plan to do is focus on helping (Sen.) Rob Portman and the rest of the Republicans down-ticket. I think a lot of us will end up focusing on that."