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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.

Pureval-Chabot Race Goes From "Leans Republican" To "Toss Up"

aftab pureval steve chabot
John Minchillo
On Tuesday, Sabato's Crystal Ball gave a boost to Democrat Aftab Pureval's campaign for incombent Steve Chabot's seat in the Ohio House.

Democrat Aftab Pureval appears to be making headway in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, according to one of the nation's leading political publications.

Sabato's Crystal Ball, a weekly online report published by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, listed 17 congressional districts in Tuesday's edition that appear to be moving toward Democratic candidates.

Chabot's 1st Congressional District is one of them. Previously, the Crystal Ball listed Ohio's 1st District as "Leans Republican." It is now listed as a "Toss Up."

The district includes much of western Hamilton County and all of Warren County. Chabot has been in Congress since 1995, except for a two-year period from 2009 to 2011.

Pureval seemingly came out of nowhere in 2016 to win an upset victory against incumbent Republican Tracy Winkler for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts.

In January of this year, Pureval announced he would take on Chabot and several other potential Democratic candidates dropped by the wayside. The Chabot-Pureval campaign has been targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

A second Ohio race – an Aug. 7 special election in Ohio's 12th District – has been moved from "Leans Republican" to "Toss Up" as well. Danny O'Connor is the Democrat running in the central Ohio district. His opponent is Troy Balderson, who recently won the endorsement of President Donald Trump. They are running to replace former congressman Pat Tiberi, who resigned earlier this year.

Kyle Kondik, an Ohioan who is managing editor of the Crystal Ball, pointed out that Pureval raised more than double what Chabot raised in the most recent quarter of 2018 "and is approaching the long-time incumbent's cash-on-hand total.

You can read more from Sabato's Crystal Ball here.

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