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.

Karen Kasler

There were suggestions all day that Democrats might be a key to a victory for John Kasich in the Republican primary in Ohio. But the state's Republican elections chief isn't sure about that.

Karen Kasler

Ohio is the center of the American political universe again today, as Republican and Democratic voters cast what could be critical ballots for the six remaining major party candidates.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich was back home in Westerville to cast his ballot in person in the Republican presidential primary. 

Karen Kasler

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz hasn’t been polling well in Ohio. But Cruz came to Columbus for at his first stop in Ohio since last summer - and his first real stop of his presidential campaign.

Nick Castele

Donald Trump came through Ohio this weekend after his campaign canceled an appearance in Chicago Friday. And he was met by supporters, and by protestors.

Andy Chow

Gov. John Kasich faces arguably the most important election of his political career on Tuesday. He talked about the race just before a campaign event in Moraine just outside Dayton Friday afternoon.

Karen Kasler

Former President Bill Clinton came to Ohio on behalf of his wife. The visit comes a day after her opponent in the Democratic presidential primary, Bernie Sanders, scored a surprise upset in the Michigan primary. Supporters who came out to see the former president campaign for Hillary Clinton had somewhat mixed reactions to Sanders' victory.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich came back to Columbus to watch the results from neighboring Michigan, a state he had targeted for a good showing a week before the Ohio primary.

Ohio Secretary of State

Ohio’s primary is next Tuesday, and both parties are targeting voters here. And some voters who want to pick presidential candidates are saying they’re confused about what they’re seeing on the ballot – and others say they’re not being allowed to vote for their preferred presidential choice at all.

Jo Ingles

Welcome to a look back at 2016 – condensed to less than 10 minutes.

(The Statehouse News Bureau is a three-member crew that provides coverage of government and politics for Ohio’s public radio listeners.  We are not a radio station, but produce spots and packages that air on Ohio’s 33 public radio stations.  We are the only broadcast journalists who are dedicated to daily Statehouse and government reporting.)

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) was repeatedly asked by reporters if he would support Donald Trump as his party’s nominee for president, or if he would join other Ohio Republicans and refuse to campaign for Trump. And he gave what some might call a qualified answer.

Though state lawmakers are studying the possibility of a law on medical marijuana, a national group supporting legalized medicinal pot say they’re on their way to putting a constitutional amendment  before Ohio voters this fall. 

Ohio House Democratic Caucus via Twitter

Ohio’s African American state lawmakers say their fellow legislators aren’t taking action on bills they feel should be priority legislation.

Stan Dalone via Flicker

A bill that seeks to shore up the state’s unemployment fund by making cuts to what businesses pay into it and to the benefits that jobless workers get is temporarily on hold.

Karen Kasler

We now know Gov. John Kasich will be back in Ohio for at least one day in April – regardless of how his presidential campaign is going.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich hasn’t been back in Ohio for several weeks, but was in Columbus this weekend - and he took time to do as he had said he would and sign a controversial bill.

Screenshot, "Face the Nation", CBS

Gov. John Kasich didn’t do well in the South Carolina primary – finishing fifth. But his backers are staying positive about his chances going forward.

Ohio Department of Medicaid

The state will soon start the process that could allow for controversial changes for around a million Ohioans on Medicaid. But it’s a long, tough road to getting those changes put in place.

Karen Kasler

The state’s retailers are pushing lawmakers to put in place permanently a three-day sales tax holiday in August for clothing and school supplies. And they have a new study that shows big numbers to support it.

Ohio Secretary of State's Office

Voters approved a change in the way the maps for state lawmakers’ districts are drawn last month, sparking calls for a similar change to the maps for members of Congress. While Democrats are united in that push, there’s an apparent split among Republican leaders who could make it happen.

Andy Chow

It’s not often that the four Republican executive officeholders are together in one room – especially when all of them are expected to run for other offices when their terms end in 2018.

Karen Kasler

The four top elected officeholders in Ohio took questions together today at an annual event with reporters. And they were asked whether they support legislation for medical marijuana.

The Ohio Department of Education is working to keep a $71 million federal grant for charter schools. And the agency is saying Ohio has a lot more failing charter schools than it initially claimed.

"Chicago Tonight", WTTW

The current state treasurer is releasing the results of an independent investigation he ordered into activities by a top aide of the former state treasurer.

Screenshot, CNN

Gov. John Kasich hosted his 100th town hall in New Hampshire Friday – just days before the first-in-the-nation primary there on Tuesday.

Brian Bull, WCPN/ideastream

State lawmakers could vote this month on a bill that would ban cities from requiring contractors to hire a certain number of local workers for big construction projects.

StockMonkeys.com

The Secretary of State may soon have a decision on a proposal to cap the price Ohio pays for drugs it buys for Medicaid, prisons and other state-run programs. And while that decision might stop the proposal in its tracks, it’s already controversial.

Fox News

Gov. John Kasich wasn’t even in Iowa for the GOP caucuses last night – he was at the presidential campaign’s next stop, New Hampshire, which holds the first in the nation primary next week.

Jennifer Herold; Ohio Senate

The comments a Republican Ohio Senate leader made about his primary opponent in a House race have fired up a debate on how the GOP views women – in particular, working moms.

Karen Kasler

As committees led by Republicans considered bills related to abortion and guns, Democrats are drawing attention to their bills on economic and educational issues that they say are being ignored. 

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