Politics

city hall
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

You may find this hard to believe, but as of Wednesday, 75 people had gone to the Hamilton County Board of Elections and picked up petitions to run for Cincinnati City Council this year.

biden inauguration
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The overwhelming majority of us are hoping that today's inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris goes smoothly, without violence and without the need for most of the 25,000 National Guard troops who are in place to keep the peace.

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John Minchillo / AP

Donald Trump, impeached twice and soon to be gone from the White House, will likely always have his corps of MAGA hat-wearing fans who believe he can do no wrong, that he is the be-all and end-all of their world. But there are signs that Trump's grip on Republican voters who are less fanatical in their devotion to him is starting to slip.

city hall
Wikimedia Commons

In many circles, Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was a lock for the 2021 mayoral race. That all changed Nov. 19.

nan whaley
Darron Cummings / AP

If you are going to take on an incumbent elected official, it helps to have a fire in your belly and a score to settle with your opponent.

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John Minchillo / AP

Rarely is there anything that happens in the Ohio Democratic Party that takes place as smooth as silk.

Take the choice of a new state party chair, which is scheduled to take place when the party's executive committee meets in Columbus on Jan. 14.

hamilton county boe
Aaron Doster / AP

This column is a look-ahead at politics in this corner of the world. It is not by any means a prediction of the future.

I am not Carnac the Magnificent. (Younger readers, just Google it.)

2020 year in review politics
Jacquelyn Martin, Tony Dejak, Jay LaPrete / AP

You really don't need me to tell you what a stinking mess 2020 was.

2020 most read wvxu
Clockwise from top: Susan Walsh/AP; Kings Island; Jason Whitman/WVXU; Marco Langbroek via Sattrackcam Blog; Andrew Harnik/AP

As we dug into the data to see which stories resonated with you most in 2020, two topics dominated, not at all unsurprisingly.

politics year in review
Clockwise from top left: Tony Dejak, Carolyn Kaster, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Alex Brandon, Gene J. Puskar / AP

We will all, I'm sure, be glad to the see the backside of the year 2020 as it disappears from view in a week or so.

And we will all, I'm equally sure, hope and pray for a return to normalcy – or something approaching normalcy – in the year 2021.

The Ohio House and Ohio Senate wrapped up long voting sessions with the House even going into the early morning hours on Friday. Although lawmakers passed dozens of bills in the process, there are several issues still on the table.

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.

joe biden
Patrick Semansky / AP

President Donald J. Trump continues his refusal to concede his loss in the November election and also to maintain that fraudulent votes prevented the Republican's second term.

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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.

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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.

With the conclusion of the 2020 Census, Kentucky and states across the nation will soon begin the process of redistricting—redrawing the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts to account for shifts in population since the last census.

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.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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?

Another election is in the books, and while counties around Ohio are still finishing off their official canvass, the results really aren’t in doubt: It was a great cycle for Republicans. 

Updated on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. ET

Hours after he was sworn in Wednesday, the U.S. Senate began confirming President Biden's nominees for key positions in his administration.

That's a slower pace than for recent administrations. Former President Donald Trump had two Cabinet members confirmed by Inauguration Day in 2017, while former President Barack Obama had six by the time he took the oath of office.

Biden has announced acting officials to temporarily lead federal agencies.

Kentucky politics is ripe with colorful figures and scandals from each period of its more than 200-year-old history.

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.

john kasich
Jay LaPrete / AP

The Los Angeles Dodgers waited 32 years between World Series championships before winning one this fall. The Cincinnati Reds are at 30 years and counting.

The Ohio Democratic Party can't wait that long to win some statewide elections.

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