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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.

Possible Statewide Candidates Audition For 2018

The Ohio House of Representatives & United States Dept. of Justice
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent and Steve Dettelbach, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, based in Cleveland.

PHILADELPHIA – One eternal truth of presidential nominating conventions, whether Democratic or Republican, is that they are places where statewide candidates are born.

An event like the Ohio delegation is experiencing this week in Philadelphia is one of the few times that nearly all of the Ohio Democratic Party's most influential leaders and hardest workers are gathered in one place for nearly a week.

It gives ambitious politicians who are thinking about running for statewide office in 2018 a chance to make themselves known to Democrats from all regions of the state.

Two of them spoke at the Ohio delegation breakfast Tuesday morning – State Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent and Steve Dettelbach, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, based in Cleveland.

Clyde is running this year for her fourth and final term in the Ohio House. She has been a strong critic of measures in the Ohio General Assembly and in the office of Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, which she says have amounted to voter suppression.

She has traveled throughout the state speaking to groups concerned about voting rights – good exposure for a potential statewide candidate.

Clyde is being talked about in Ohio Democratic circles as a likely candidate for Ohio Secretary of State in 2018. It would be an open seat, since Husted can't run again and is likely to run in a GOP primary for governor.

Tuesday morning, Clyde told WVXU she has yet to make up her mind about running to become Ohio's chief elections officer.

"Right now, I'm running for my fourth term in the Ohio House and I'm also focusing my attention on doing everything I can to help make Hillary Clinton the president of the United States," Clyde said.

"I am honored by all the talk, but we have plenty of time to think about that," Clyde said. "I'll consider it after this election is over."

Speaking to WVXU after his breakfast speech, Dettelbach was much more frank about his ambitions.

"Yes, I'm seriously considering it," Dettelbach said of running for Ohio attorney general.

That seat, too, will be open in 2018. The incumbent Republican, Mike DeWine has already announced his candidacy for governor.

"I'm starting to talk to a lot of people around the state about it," Dettelbach said. "It's been something I've been thinking about for a long time. But the most important thing is 2016 and what happens in this presidential race."