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

Members of the Ohio House came back to work for their first day since the election to face a room packed with opponents of a bill on public employee unions. The bill may not go far, but union members were determined to show their opposition.

Karen Kasler

A bill that backers say would protect all free speech at public universities was on the agenda for state lawmakers’ first day back at work after the election. And its Republican sponsors got a boost from a national and controversial figure.

Statehouse News Bureau

This week lawmakers are returning for a lame duck session, with hearings set on a so-called right to work bill and a Republican-backed bill on free speech on college campuses.  Republican legislative leaders are talking about other priorities but suggesting action on controversial measures is possible.

Andy Chow

Gov.-elect Mike DeWine and incoming Secretary of State Frank LaRose have announced their transition teams – the people who will help set policy, personnel and priorities for the next four years.

ohioelectionresults.com

The maps of Ohio’s 2018 election results for governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer look a lot like the 2016 Ohio results map for president. And there are a lot of theories about why that is, and whether Ohio keeps its status as a “swing state” or if it’s now simply red.

Statehouse News Bureau

For the third time in four years, Ohio voters soundly rejected a constitutional amendment that cost supporters millions to put on the ballot.  There is concern on both sides over the cost and the results of the vote on Issue 1.

Karen Kasler

Democrats gained some ground in the Statehouse in this midterm election, but not much. The results won’t shift power in either chamber.

Ohio’s senior US Senator won a third term in what was virtually the only bright spot for the state’s Democrats in this midterm election. But the victory for Sherrod Brown over Congressman Jim Renacci was much narrower than many expected.

Karen Kasler

The only issue on the statewide ballot in Ohio was trounced by a two-to-one margin. Voters rejected the constitutional amendment that would have lowered drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor and would prioritize treatment for those offenders.

Daniel Konik

The Statehouse News Bureau talked to voters in three counties about why they came out to vote in person today.

Robert Kneschke/shutterstock.com

It’s no secret that political campaigns use data to try to persuade voters. But a report from Ohio’s Miami University says some of this data is being weaponized to target voters who are most likely to be influenced – and they may not even realize it.

Ron Corby

The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t hear a challenge to Ohio’s death penalty law in a case involving a convicted murderer and rapist from Marion.

Karen Kasler

The major party candidates for governor are spending this last full day of campaigning pushing for votes in what is coming down to be a close race. Democrat Richard Cordray is uniting with another candidate who’s likely to do well in this midterm election, while Mike DeWine has been going to both ends of the Republican spectrum in Ohio.

Karen Kasler

More Ohioans have requested early absentee ballots for this midterm election than the last one in 2014. But Ohio is behind other states that are seeing record early turnout levels. And there’s a lot of speculation about whether that shows a “red tide” is building again in Ohio, or whether the state will be part of the nationally-predicted “blue wave”. 

Karen Kasler

A federal appeals court has ruled that Ohioans who were removed for not voting over a six-year period must be allowed to vote in this midterm election.

The Ohio Channel

The Ohio Supreme Court says a lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame and the NCAA can proceed. The suit claims a former football player who died three years ago after suffering from brain diseases was disabled by concussions.

Karen Kasler

Recent polls have shown the race for Ohio governor is very close. And that means the results could come down to provisional ballots – those cast by people who didn’t have proper ID, for instance – and to absentee ballots that hadn’t arrived at boards of elections by Tuesday. And that means Tuesday night’s total might not be the final outcome.

David Petkiewicz, Cleveland.com

In almost every election, the economy is considered the top issue. Both Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray say they have plans to spark Ohio’s economy, which has come back from the Great Recession but has been lagging the nation in job and wage growth. In a continuing series the Statehouse News Bureau breaks down how the two major party candidates for governor stack up when it comes to key issues.

Karen Kasler

The candidates for governor haven’t talked much about environmental issues such as fracking and the state’s renewable energy standards for utilities. But it appears their stances on those issues are somewhat similar.

Karen Kasler

While the candidates for governor and US Senator are getting most of the spotlight in this year’s election, all 99 members of the Ohio House and 17 state senators are also on the ballot.  With a new governor in January, those state lawmakers will play important roles.  And some of those local races are getting close and creative.

Daniel Konik

The totals are in on how much the candidates for governor and other statewide offices raised in the final reports before next month’s election. And one set of numbers is record-breaking.

Karen Kasler

Early voting in Ohio started two weeks ago, and the Secretary of State’s office says it’s picking up - with two weeks to go till Election Day.

Karen Kasler

The head of the federal agency that put the Affordable Care Act into effect in 2010 spent the day in her home state of Ohio. It’s part of an effort by Democrats to target Republicans such as gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, who filed suit against the law which requires health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Karen Kasler

With a little over two months left till he leaves office, Gov. John Kasich suddenly fired a cabinet member who’s been with him for six years - the state agriculture director.

OGT/Ohio Channel

The attorney general is the state’s top cop, protecting Ohioans against shady business practices and against crime on the streets. And the new AG will be among the five new statewide executive officeholders who will take over in January.

OGT/Ohio Channel

Ohio’s secretary of state keeps track of business filings and campaign finance records. But that office is best known for its role as the state’s elections chief. And it’s one of the five statewide executive offices that will have a new occupant in January.

Karen Kasler

Early voting is now underway in Ohio, which has seen strong Republican wins in the last two midterm election cycles. But many are wondering about the impact of an increase in registered voters in a midterm year that looks good nationwide for Democrats.

Screenshots NBC4i

The third and final debate between the major party candidates for governor gets underway Monday night in Cleveland. And it’s perfect timing – since voter registration closes tomorrow.

Watch the debate live on the Ohio Debate Commission's website.

OGT/Ohio Channel

The auditor is considered the top taxpayer watchdog, reviewing the books and doing efficiency audits for thousands of units of state and local government. And the office is up for grabs this year, as are all five of the statewide executive offices.

Ohio House

A two term Democratic state representative from Cleveland has suddenly resigned his seat.

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