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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.

What Else Is On The May 2 Ballot?

Ann Thompson

Tuesday is the first day of early voting in Ohio for the May 2 primary election.

But not everyone in southwestern Ohio will have any candidate races or ballot issues to decide in this election.

For example, in Clermont County, only 11 of the county's 167 precincts have ballot issues to decide.

The county boards of elections begin mailing out absentee ballots Tuesday to those who have requested them; and early in-person voting begins at board offices.

The big-ticket item on the May 2 primary ballot in southwest Ohio is Cincinnati's non-partisan primary for Cincinnati mayor.

All three candidates on the ballot – incumbent John Cranley, council member Yvette Simpson and Rob Richardson, a former University of Cincinnati trustee – are all Democrats, but party designations won't appear on the ballot.

The top two finishers in this fiercely contested mayoral primary will face each other in the November election for a four-year term as Cincinnati's mayor.

While the Cincinnati mayor's race is getting the bulk of the attention, there are other candidate races and ballot issues in southwest Ohio:

Hamilton County:

-        On the Republican side there are two contested primaries – six candidates in Harrison running for member of council at large, with four to be elected; and, in Norwood, a Ward 4 council seat with two candidates.

-        The ballot issues for schools include an additional 9.5 mill levy for the Wyoming City School District, a 5.04 mill, 10-year tax levy for the Northwest Local School District (which includes part of Butler County), and a 4,82 mill substitute levy for the Oak Hills Local School District.

-        Charter amendments for residency requirements and the board of zoning appeals in Madeira, an additional 3.4 million tax levy for police, and a local option on the sale of liquor in Cincinnati's Precinct 26-E, which is in Westwood.


Warren County:

-        A 4.84 mill renewal levy for Lebanon City Schools;

-        A 6.2 mill bond issue for Carlisle Schools;

-        A one mill renewal levy for Blanchester Local Schools (an overlap with Clinton County);

-        A one mill renewal levy for Middletown Senior services (an overlap with Butler County);

-        And a bond issue and tax levy for the Miami Valley Career Technology and Vocational Schools, with overlaps with other counties.

Butler County:

-        One mill renewal of the Middletown Senior Services levy;

-        The bond issue and tax levy for the Miami Valley Career Technology and Vocational School, overlapping with other counties;

-        A part of the county will vote on the Northwest Local Schools levy, which was filed in Hamilton County;

-        And a portion of the county will vote on the Preble Shawnee Local Schools levy, which was filed in Preble County.


Clermont County:

-        12.5 mill renewal levy for Fire and EMS in Milford; a city charter amendment in Amelia; and one precinct – Wayne Township A – will vote on the Blanchester Local School District levy.

You can download absentee ballot requests and find information on early in-person voting hours by clicking on these links to the boards of elections websites:

Hamilton County

Warren County

Butler County

Clermont County


Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.