Howard Wilkinson

jim rennaci
Tony Dejak / AP

I'm sure you all the know the old saw: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Jim Renacci, the former congressman from northeast Ohio who lost a U.S. Senate race to Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2018, has been exhibiting some distinctly duck-like qualities lately, at least when it comes to his political future.

christmas pickle
Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

It usually starts around Thanksgiving.

My Facebook page and Twitter account light up with friends, near and far, demanding an answer to a single question.

voting
John Minchillo / AP

There are at least 10 people who are either declared candidates for Cincinnati mayor or strongly considering a run for the office next year. The criminal charges against P.G. Sittenfeld, previously the front-runner, has opened up the floodgates.

boxing
Pixabay

The older I get, the more likely it is that I wake up in the morning with aches and pains. I guess that's part of the deal.

david pepper
Aaron Doster / AP

I don't know if David Pepper, who will leave his six-year stint as Ohio Democratic Party chairman at the end of the month, will run for Cincinnati mayor in 2021.

I do know that he is thinking about it, because he told me he is. But he is nowhere near committing to a race.


kevin flynn
Cory Sharber / WVXU

In 2017, Kevin Flynn decided not to run for re-election to Cincinnati City Council after four years as a self-described "watchdog" over the city's council-manager form of government. Now, watching as three council members have been charged with felony corruption charges, Flynn has decided to attempt a return to City Council in 2021.

There is no guarantee, but Flynn is looked on by most people as a formidable contender for an open seat on council.

city hall
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The ever-dwindling band of Republicans in the city of Cincinnati haven't had much reason for hope in city politics for two generations now.

But the turmoil and "culture of corruption" at City Hall that has landed three council members in some very hot water – federal charges of bribery and abusing their offices – somehow is giving them a feeling there may be better days to come.

tim ryan rob portman
Charlie Neibergall, J. Scott Applewhite / AP

It seems like forever since Democrat Tim Ryan of Trumbull County was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002, and ever since politics reporters around the state (me included) have written more than our fair share of stories and tweets speculating about Ryan's political future.

cincinnati candidates for mayor
Bill Rinehart, WVXU; Sarah Ramsey, WVXU; John Minchillo, AP; Twitter

I can't presume to say that Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld's political ambitions, which burned hotter than a match until his recent indictment on felony charges of bribery and extortion, are snuffed out for good.

dewine trump
Evan Vucci / AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine went on CNN last weekend and said that Joe Biden should be considered the president-elect. That got under Donald Trump's skin to the point that the next day, he was tweeting out that Ohio's gubernatorial election could get interesting, implying that DeWine might face a GOP primary challenger in 2022.

trump portman dewine
John Minchillo / AP

The wrath of Donald Trump is something fearsome to behold.

Especially when one of his fellow Republicans tries to burst the bubble of the fictional scenario inside his head that tells him he somehow won re-election and will be sworn into office for a second term on Jan. 20.

Wrath so awesome it can make grown Republican officeholders quake in fear and scramble to reassure him that Joe Biden is not the president-elect.

city hall
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Murray Seasongood. Ted Berry. Charlie Taft. Bobbie Sterne. And all the others from generations of leaders at Cincinnati City Hall who have upheld the standards of honesty and integrity in the city's council-manager form of government for generations now.

What would they be thinking if they could see the mess that Cincinnati City Council has become?

charmaine mcguffey
Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

If you follow local politics at all, you probably already know that the Hamilton County Democrats had a near sweep of county offices and judgeships.

alicia reece
Alicia Reece / Twitter

Donald Trump won Ohio again Tuesday, but Hamilton County was a deep blue holdout.

Democrats won all the races for county offices except prosecutor, along with an astounding nine of 13 judgeships - where party designations were not on the ballot.

election night results
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Here's some free advice for anyone who plans to watch the election results Tuesday night (and likely into Wednesday morning). Take a tip from that noted sage of the baseball diamond, Yogi Berra – it ain't over until it's over.

joe biden donald trump
Alex Brandon, Patrick Semansky / AP

After winning Ohio by a comfortable eight-point margin four years ago, Donald Trump finds himself in a statistical tie with Joe Biden for Ohio's 18 electoral votes going into the last weekend of campaigning.

donald trump circleville
Jason Whitman / WVXU

The last thing President Trump wants to talk about is clearly the first thing on the minds of Ohioans and voters in Great Lakes battleground states – the COVID-19 pandemic.

early voting
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Over 1.2 million Ohioans have already voted in the Nov. 3 election, both by absentee ballots and in-person early voting at county boards of elections.

mitch mcconnell
Susan Walsh / AP

Fans of irony should take note of the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.

The contest between six-term incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger, former Marine pilot Amy McGrath, could well produce the greatest election irony in many a year.

early voting
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

This presidential election in Ohio is clearly going to shatter all previous records for turnout. By the time the polling places open on Nov. 3, over half of Ohio voters will have already cast early ballots, either by absentee ballot or in person at county boards of elections.

joe biden
Andrew Harnik / AP

Ohio is back in the conversation when it comes to presidential politics, but two things are certain in this year of almost universal uncertainty.

joe biden
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Joe Biden brought his campaign for the presidency to Cincinnati Monday with a message for Ohio Democrats – their votes matter; and they can help him heal the divisions he says President Donald Trump has caused in this country over the past four years.

joe morgan
AP

Editor's note: Joe Morgan passed away Oct. 12 at the age of 77. The Baseball Hall of Famer was a key member of the Big Red Machine, the Reds team that dominated baseball in the 1970s. Many consider him to be the greatest second baseman of all time. USA Today's Bob Nightengale was the first to report the news.

Howard Wilkinson has this profile of Morgan and the trade that brought him to the Cincinnati Reds, first published in August 2019.

voting
Tony Dejak / AP

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, has told Ohio's 88 county boards of elections they can have more than one drop box for  absentee voters but they can't be scattered about - they must all be on board of elections' property. But Friday, a U.S. District Court judge in Cleveland ordered LaRose to allow county board of elections to put drop boxes at multiple locations, if they want.

adam pacman jones
Frank Victores / AP

In January 2017, then-Bengal Adam "Pacman" Jones, a professional football player with a long history of brushes with the law, was arrested by Cincinnati Police in a melee at the Millennial Hotel downtown and charged with three misdemeanors and one felony count, for spitting on a nurse at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

WVXU

Congratulations to my WVXU news coworkers for winning 13 awards from the Ohio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' 2020 Ohio's Best Journalism competition.

joe biden
Andrew Harnik / AP

After Donald Trump won Ohio by a convincing eight percentage point margin in 2016, there was an assumption by many Republicans and Democrats that Ohio would not be a factor in the 2020 presidential contest.

But that was then; this is now.

donald trump
Andrew Harnik / AP

Four years ago, Ohio made Donald Trump very happy by handing him its 18 electoral votes. This year, Ohio has the potential to make him very unhappy by taking them back.

george bush al gore
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Will we know if Joe Biden will be the 46th POTUS on the night of the Nov. 3 election, or will Donald Trump be in place for another four years?

steve chabot kate schroder
John Minchillo, Gary Landers / AP

With seven weeks minus one day to go, Democratic first-time candidate Kate Schroder seems poised to climb to the summit of one of the steepest hills in Southwest Ohio politics – taking down long-time GOP congressman Steve Chabot.

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