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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.

Kentucky's Grimes Thanks Ohio And Gives A Gentle Push

Howard Wilkinson

PHILADELPHIA – Kentucky's Democratic secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, came to the Ohio delegation breakfast here Wednesday morning for two purposes.

First, she wanted to say thanks to the nearly 10,000 Ohioans who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to her ultimately unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.

"It was a tough campaign; and I thank you," said Grimes, who was re-elected as Kentucky's chief elections officer last year. "Mitch McConnell is the leader of a do-nothing caucus. He is so stubborn, he could have a kidney stone and refuse to pass it."

Secondly, and most importantly, as a top elected Democrat from a state that hasn't gone for a Democrat since Bill Clinton, she wanted to cheer on the Ohioans – Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders delegates alike – to do everything they can this fall to win Ohio.

"There couldn't be a more stark contrast between the candidates in this presidential election." Grimes said. "Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have fought their entire lives for families and children, to help give the poorest among us a better life."

Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence "have spent their lives fighting for themselves and saying, 'I've got mine; you go see if you can get yours.'"

Trump, Grimes said, is "a billionaire bully who sells products with his name on them and sends them all overseas to be made."

Grimes, who addressed the convention at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday night, is a long-time friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. She first met the Clintons at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in Jan. 1993.

In her convention speech, she said that she's friends with Hillary Clinton, who checked on her while she was in law school "and stood by my side as I took on Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate's biggest bullies."

Grimes told the Ohio delegates the same thing she told the nation last night in her televised address – that she believes the Democratic nominee is a caring person who fights for issues important to working Americans, such as college affordability, voting rights, and affordable health care.

"Last night was a marvelous night," Grimes told the Ohio delegates Wednesday morning. "Hillary Clinton's name may be the one on the ballot, but each and every one of us has fought to break down the barriers."

After the speech, Grimes told WVXU that she believes the Democrats are now united – Sanders and Clinton supporters – on one goal: keeping Trump out of the White House.

The Republicans "had a hate-filled convention," Grimes said. "But we have come together here in Philadelphia. You saw it last night when Bernie Sanders stood on the convention floor and asked that Hillary be nominated by acclamation.

"We have come together," Grimes told WVXU. "This is not going to be an easy election. Everyone must go home from here and work. The stakes are very high. But we can and we will win."