Karen Kasler

Bureau Chief

Credit Kristen Kasler Peters

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan. She grew up in Lancaster, attended Otterbein College in Westerville, and found her first professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After earning her Master's Degree in that program, she worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus and then moved north to become the afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor for WTAM-AM, Cleveland. Karen followed the demolition and rebuilding of Cleveland Browns Stadium, produced award-winning series on identity theft and the Y2K panic, covered the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the blackout of 2003, and reported annually from the Cleveland National Air Show each year, often going upside down in an aerobatic plane to do it. In 1999, she was a media witness to the execution of Wilford Berry, at the time the first man put to death since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and also co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, which featured her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus, she's covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a moderator for US Senate debates in 2012 and 2010, participated in several debates in 2010, and has led debates over statewide issues. She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and several local and regional stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on WCPN/ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas", a frequent guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and has appeared on WBNS-TV's "Face the State".

She's been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the Ohio Educational Telecommunications Commission, and holds a National Headliner Award. She's won several awards from the Ohio AP, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She's a three-time Emmy nominee for "The State of Ohio". She's a past president of the Ohio Associated Press, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Karen is also a former adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus.

Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

Ohio House of Representatives

It’s a felony in Ohio for a voter to take a picture of a filled-out ballot and post it on social media. Two Republican lawmakers want to change that.

WBNS 10TV, Columbus

Some observers feel Ohio’s US Senate contest is all but over, with incumbent Rob Portman leading Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland by around 15 points. But the candidates are continuing their tour of the state with three debates – the first was Friday in Youngstown, and last night they met in Columbus.

Warren County Board of Elections

This weekend brought out a tape of Republican nominee Donald Trump making lewd and potentially criminal allegations about interactions with women and a Wikileaks dump of Wall Street speeches by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. And those revelations have some Ohioans reconsidering their presidential vote. 

Statehouse News Bureau

The rift between the Trump campaign on the chair of the Ohio Republican Party blew up into what appears to be a full-blown war.

Karen Kasler

Donald Trump squeezed in a visit to Columbus in between rallies in Florida and Cincinnati. He spoke to an audience of mostly students – a group that typically doesn’t turn out to vote, and when its members do, they often vote Democrat. But this crowd was different.

Karen Kasler

An American lawyer hired by the Turkish government to investigate charter schools connected to a Muslim cleric thought to be behind a coup in Turkey in July says he’s finished his probe. And he says he’s turning over what he found about some Ohio charter schools to the state auditor for further investigation.

Warren County Board of Elections

This weekend brought out a tape of Republican nominee Donald Trump making lewd and potentially criminal allegations about interactions with women and a Wikileaks dump of Wall Street speeches by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. And those revelations have some Ohioans reconsidering their presidential vote.  But there are rules on how to vote for candidates not on the ballot.

Karen Kasler

This was a devastating weekend for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Ohio – he lost the support of three GOP officeholders over lewd comments made about women in a 2005 tape that was brought to light on Friday.  

Karen Kasler

The chair of the Ohio Republican Party is sounding off on the tape of lewd comments from his party’s presidential nominee – but he stopped short of pulling his endorsement.

Karen Kasler

An estimated 5,000 people gathered at the Statehouse for a noontime rally with Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, who’s taken over his father Billy Graham’s ministry.

Karen Kasler

Nearly half of fiscal officers in local governments in Ohio told the state auditor they are unaware of anti-fraud services that are available to protect their bank accounts.

Liam Niemeyer

Ohio is the first state in the country to have a one-stop shop for people who are victims of crime.

Ron Corby, OGT

For the second time in as many years, Ohio plans to change the way it puts condemned killers to death, because the state has been unable to find the lethal injection drug it had wanted to use.

Paul Matthew Photography/shutterstock.com

The backers of a proposal to limit the amount the state pays for drugs for Medicaid, prisons and other state programs have won their fight to bring the plan to next year’s ballot.

Karen Kasler

A Franklin County judge has dealt a serious blow to the state's largest online charter school and siding with the Ohio Department of Education.

Karen Kasler

A top Republican leader who’s supporting Donald Trump says he hopes Gov. John Kasich changes his mind about the GOP nominee.

Statehouse News Bureau

A bill requiring lawmakers review the need for state commissions, boards and state agencies passed the Senate along party lines today – with Republicans pushing it and Democrats pushing back.

Karen Kasler

Among the tens of millions of people watching last night’s first presidential debate were dozens of volunteers and supporters in central Ohio, at gatherings put together by the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

Andy Chow

A statue of Ohio native Thomas Edison has gone from the Statehouse to Congress.  It was unveiled in Statutory Hall, where each state honors two well-known figures.

Ohio Education Policy Institute

A report commissioned by three groups representing officials from traditional public schools shows what they call a strong link between student performance and household income - in other words, kids in wealthy districts do better on tests on average than kids in poor districts do.

"Face the Nation", CBS News

Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign adviser and the chair of the Ohio Republican Party are angrily reacting to comments made by the head of the Republican National Committee yesterday.

"The State of Ohio", Ohio Public TV/OGT

The presidential race in Ohio is tight, with polls going back and forth between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. And the tension in in the race definitely shows when the chairs of those two parties met face to face for a preview of this fall’s election.

Katie Monahan, Ohio Supreme Court

Courts are getting hit hard by the state’s opioid epidemic, according to the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. That was just one point in her annual state of the judiciary speech.


A constitutional amendment creating a total ban on abortion in Ohio has been rejected by the state attorney general. But the people behind the proposal say they are not done fighting.

Karen Kasler

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to reinstate the week in which Ohioans could register to vote and cast ballots at the same time – effectively setting October 12 as the first day of early voting.

Karen Kasler

The federal government has rejected a proposal that would have required about a million Ohio Medicaid recipients to pay premiums for their coverage on Friday. Now, backers of that idea are wondering what’s next.

Ohio Attorney General's office

The proposed abortion ban that a group of citizens wants to put before Ohio voters has been stopped – for now.

Karen Kasler

The money the state brought in from taxes was down last month, and that has officials saying they’ll be watching the next few months very carefully.


The federal government has rejected a plan proposed by state lawmakers to require about a million Ohio Medicaid recipients to pay premiums for their coverage.

Dan Konik

Nearly three thousand flags are on the Statehouse lawn this weekend, placed there by volunteers from two state agencies and a Columbus non-profit.