John Kasich (R)

Ohio Governor (since January 2011)

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Why He Matters

In a race that drew considerable national attention, Kasich challenged one-term Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland in 2010, and won.

The race tightened considerably in the weeks leading up to the election, however, with some polls showing a statistical dead-heat. Some critics blamed the Kasich campaign for the dip in support, arguing that he had not galvanized the conservative base by supporting popular economic policies.

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News From Around The Web

The GOP’s Mystery Candidate via The Daily Beast

Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem in 2016? Washington.

The more time you spend in the nation’s capitol, the less likely you are to get elected president.

What’s the matter with a Jeb Bush run?

There’s a whole lot of debate about Jeb Bush.


Governors Christie, Walker and Kasich woo billionaire Sheldon Adelson at Vegas event

(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Christie, Walker and Kasich offered views on how to refocus the Republican Party.

Why the buzz about Jeb Bush?

(Hector Gabino / AP)

But it also reflects uncertainty about the GOP field

So much outrage, such a double standard for a pro-Israel group

Suddenly a former GOP operative is outraged about money.

John Kasich’s Medicaid expansion gambit is a double-edged sword

Most Ohio voters like it, a new poll shows. But they aren’t gravitating toward Kasich as a result.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Investment banking manager, Lehman Brothers (2001-2008); Fox News host (2001-2008); U.S. Representative (1982-2000); Ohio State Senator (1978-1982)
  • Birthday: May 13, 1952
  • Hometown: McKee's Rocks, Penn.
  • Alma Mater: Ohio State University, B.A., 1974
  • Spouse: Karen

Path To Power

Path To Power

The son of a mailman, Kasich grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood outside Pittsburgh, Pa. He moved to Ohio for college in 1970, graduating four years later with a B.A. from Ohio State University.

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The Issues

As with campaigns nationwide, the economy took center stage in the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial contest. Kasich accused his opponent, Gov. Ted Strickland (D) of allowing 400,000 jobs to leave the state over his four years in office, and pointed to the state's massive budget shortfall as further evidence of fiscal mismanagement. Breaking with 117 years of precedence, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce backed Kasich in the race.

In order to stimulate job growth, Kasich proposed eliminating Ohio's income tax for individuals and small businesses, but has not put a timetable on such changes. He advocates regulatory reform, improving worker-training programs, and revamping the state's workers' compensation system.

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The Network

Dating back to his time in the U.S. House, Kasich has had a close relationship with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who campaigned for Kasich during the 2010 campaign season. Kasich was part of the 1990s House Republican inner circle, which also included Dick Armey (R-Texas), and Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Kasich has a long-standing relationship with Fox News and many of its pundits, like Bill O'Reilly, whose show he sometimes co-hosted, and Sean Hannity, who interviewed Kasich during the campaign period in 2010, raising concerns about his ongoing relationship with the network.

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Additional Resources

  1. John Kasich's Bio, Fox News, Aug. 29, 2001.
  2. Niquette, Mark and Joe Hallett, "Fox's role in Kasich campaign questioned," Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 26, 2010.
  3. Lee, Carol, "In Ohio, Obama makes last pitch," Politico, Oct. 31, 2010.
  4. Holt, Mytheos, "Late to the Tea Party," National Review Online, Oct. 13, 2010.
  5. Lelyveld, Nita, "Who's Who in the Gingrich Brain Trust," Associated Press, Nov. 20, 1994. [accessed via Lexis-Nexis]
  6. Provance, Jim, "'I love the Tea Party,' Kasich tells rally," Toledo Blade, Oct. 31, 2010.
  7. "Polls show dead heat between Kasich, Strickland," Toledo Blade Columbus Bureau, Nov. 1, 2010.
  8. Rowland, Darrel, "Poll has Strickland gaining on Kasich," Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 6, 2010.
  9. Troy, Tom, "Kasich vows to restore state as a job magnet," Toledo Blade, Oct. 19, 2010.
  10. Holt, Mytheos, "Late to the Tea Party," National Review Online, Oct. 13, 2010.
  11. Niquette, Mark, "Kasich, Strickland battle in close race for governor," Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 31, 2010.
  12. John Kasich's Biography, Kasich/Taylor for Ohio website.
  13. "Kasich drops out of GOP race," CNN.com, July 14, 1999.
  14. Provance, Jim, "Economy takes center stage in Strickland-Kasich contest," Toledo Blade, Oct. 31, 2010.
  15. Provance, Jim, "'I love the Tea Party,' Kasich tells rally," Toledo Blade, Oct. 31, 2010.
  16. Niquette, Mark, and Joe Hallett, "Strickland, Kasich on pace to top campaign spending record," Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 22, 2010.
  17. "Polls show dead heat between Kasich, Strickland," Toledo Blade, Columbus Bureau, Nov. 1, 2010.