John Kasich

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John Kasich
John R Kasich.jpg
Governor of Ohio
In office
January 10, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 4
PredecessorTed Strickland (D)
Base salary$148,886
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$21,124,447
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio, 12th District
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 2001
Ohio State Senate
Bachelor'sOhio State University (1974)
Date of birthMay 13, 1952
Place of birthMcKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
John Richard Kasich (b. May 13, 1952 in McKees Rocks, PA) is the 69th and current Governor of Ohio. A Republican, he was first elected on November 2, 2010 and assumed office on January 10, 2011. In the race, Kasich defeated incumbent Ted Strickland (D) by some 77,000 votes.[1] His win led the 2010 Republican sweep of statewide offices in Ohio.[2]

Kasich was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2014.[3][4][5] John Kasich won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Before his election to the Buckeye State's top seat, he served in the Ohio State Senate from 1979-1983 and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-2000. He made an unsuccessful bid for United States President in 2000.[6]

Kasich is considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016. Elected by a strong conservative base, including support from tea party groups, Kasich drew their fury in February 2013 when he announced he would expand Medicaid in the state using federal money, possibly hurting his re-election chances.[7][8]

An analysis of Republican governors by Nate Silver of the New York Times in April 2013 ranked Kasich as the 23rd most conservative governor in the country.[9]


Kasich grew up in McKees, Pennsylvania, first moving to Ohio to attend college. There, he joined the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and studied political science.

After graduating, he joined the Ohio Legislative Services Commission, moving over to work directly for Buz Lukens, a state Senator at the time, for three years before beginning his own political career.

From 2001 through April 21, 2007, Kasich was the host of "Heartland with John Kasich" on Fox News. During that time he was also a frequent guest host on "The O'Reilly Factor," and contributor to a variety of Fox News programs including "Hannity and Colmes."[10]


  • B.A. Ohio State University (1974)

Political career

Governor of Ohio (2011-present)

Kasich has served as Governor of Ohio since January 10, 2011. He was elected on November 2, 2010.


Veto of Republican-backed residency proposal

Months in to his second term as governor, Kasich broke ranks with his fellow Republicans in the state legislature by vetoing a proposal forcing out-of-state residents to secure an Ohio driver's license and vehicle registration within 30 days of registering to vote. Kasich used his line-item veto power to strike the new provision from the statute. Ohio Democrats had opposed the provision, claiming it was a Republican ploy to suppress a segment of the often Democratic-swinging student vote, and commended Kasich's decision. The number of out-of-state college students in Ohio exceeds 100,000 and it would have cost a significant portion of these students an estimated $75 to obtain the documents necessary to vote had Kasich allowed the provision to stand. Furthermore, Kasich removed a section called the no-driving-decree which would have taken away driving privileges from new residents who do not meet the 30-day deadline for getting the in-state driving documents. Kasich's stated reasons for rejecting the proposal were not politically-motivated and unrelated to critics' assertion that the language was intended as a "poll tax" targeting out-of-state students seeking access to the ballot box. Instead, Kasich explained that the language would have increased existing confusion surrounding Ohio's residency rules and cited inconsistencies with other driving policies therein.[11]

State law recognizes students' home-state driving documents provided they do not stay in Ohio permanently.[12]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Kasich was ranked number 26. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[13][14]

Tax reform

Kasich made tax reform a priority for 2013.[15] On February 12, 2013, Representative Ron Amstutz introduced House Bill 59, Kasich's proposed fiscal year 2014-15 budget. Among other things, this bill proposed significantly altering the Ohio tax system.[16] The bill would cut the business income tax by 50 percent and the personal income tax by 20 percent. The bill would also decrease the state sales tax from 5.5 to 5 percent while making more services subject to the state income tax. Further revenue would be raised by changing the state tax on oil drilling companies from $0.20/barrel to 4 percent, although it would be eliminated for smaller companies.[17] Noting in its technical review of HB 59 that previous attempts in other states to significantly expand the sales tax base had failed for a variety of reasons, the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP found that Kasich's "ambitious" tax reforms would hit Ohio businesses most directly and hardest although individual consumers will bear the brunt of these new taxes in the form of higher prices for the things they typically buy and use."[18] The progressive think tank Ohio Policy Matters strongly criticized Kasich's income and sales tax reforms and calculated the proposal would result in a tax cut of $10,369 for the top 1 percent of income earners and tax increase of $63 for the bottom 1 percent.[19] The Ohio Liberty Coalition, a coalition of Ohio Tea Party groups, opposed Kasich's proposed tax increases for oil companies.[20] Upon its introduction by Amstutz, the bill was referred to the Finance and Appropriations Committee.

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

John Kasich endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [21]

U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2001)

Kasich served 9 terms in the House, from 1983 through 2001. In 1996 Bob Dole considered Kasich a potential running-mate for his presidential bid, ultimately choosing instead to run with Jack Kemp.[22]

In 1993, Kasich was the Ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. Kasich co-authored the Penny-Kasich Plan, an alternative deficit reduction bill to President Bill Clinton's plan. The bill failed by only six votes.[23]

Kasich was chair of the congressional committee on welfare reform in 1994. Kasich assisted Republicans who supported President Clinton's Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994 in designing ways to reduce the bill's cost, thereby helping it pass the House. His support of the bill put him at odds with gun rights advocates and much of the Republican base.[24]

Ohio State Senate (1978-1982)

Kasich began his career in politics as a legislative aide to Ohio State Senator Donald Lukens. In 1978 he was elected to the Ohio State Senate. He served through 1982, when he was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

On The Issues Vote Match

John Kasich's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Kasich is a Populist-Leaning Conservative. Kasich received a score of 22 percent on social issues and 68 percent on economic issues.[25]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[26]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Unknown
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Neutral
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Opposes
Prioritize green energy Neutral Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Unknown Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Favors Never legalize marijuana Strongly Favors
Note: Information last updated: April 19, 2015.[25] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.




See also: John Kasich possible presidential campaign, 2016 and Presidential election, 2016

Kasich is considered a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. In March 2014, Kasich said that he was "just not interested" in running for the presidency, but in an interview with ABC News on December 7, 2014, he would not explicitly deny plans to run.[27] When asked about the possibility, Kasich responded, "Well, George, well, look, you know, you knew you were never going to get a good answer out of me here today."[27]

Kasich has earned both support and criticism from fellow Republicans for his more moderate political philosophy. He supported Common Core education standards, a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and expansions for Medicaid in Ohio.[28] Kasich's support in his home state could offer him a significant advantage, if he chooses to run, as no candidate who has lost Ohio has been able to win the presidency in over 50 years.[29]


See also: Ohio gubernatorial election, 2014

Kasich ran for re-election as Governor of Ohio in the 2014 elections.[3] Kasich won the Republican nomination in the unopposed primary on May 6, 2014. The general election took place on November 4, 2014.


General election
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kasich/Mary Taylor Incumbent 63.6% 1,944,848
     Democratic Ed FitzGerald/Sharen Neuhardt 33% 1,009,359
     Green Anita Rios/Bob Fitrakis 3.3% 101,706
Total Votes 3,055,913
Election Results via Ohio Secretary of State.

Race background

Incumbent Republican John Kasich appeared to be vulnerable in late 2013, as it looked like he would face a primary challenge from the right and a general election made difficult by a full slate of Ohio Libertarian Party candidates. These challenges faded in early 2014, as Kasich faced no primary challengers and the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate was disqualified. Though he still faced two opponents, Democratic Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Green Party candidate Anita Rios, polling in May 2014 showed Kasich with improved ratings and a growing lead.[30]

In August 2014, The Washington Post reported on a series of setbacks for FitzGerald, including poor fundraising, a long-delayed driver's license, an unusual occurrence with a foreign trade representative and a major staff turnover.[31] These events took a heavy toll on FitzGerald's poll numbers, as Kasich's lead widened from single digits to 30 percent in September, according to a Columbus Dispatch poll.[32]

Potential candidates
See also: Ballot access requirements in Ohio

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan had been considered a strong potential Democratic candidate for the 2014 Ohio gubernatorial election, but ultimately opted against entering the race in March of 2013. He decided that challenging incumbent Gov. John Kasich (R) was not worth forfeiting his seat in the U.S. House, particularly in light of his reappointment to the influential Appropriations Committee in the 113th Congress.[33] [34][35]

Tea Party primary challenge

Ted Stevenot, an Ohio Tea Party leader, had planned to announce a primary challenge to incumbent Governor Kasich.[36] In early January 2014, however, Stevenot and his running mate, Brenda Mack, decided not to challenge Kasich.[37] In his prepared statement, Stevenot said that his running mate's financial history, which had been the subject of recent critical news coverage, was not part of his consideration to withdraw.[38]

Signature controversies
Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party of Ohio had intended to file a full slate of candidates to contest each election. All of these candidates failed to make it on to the ballot because the Ohio Secretary of State threw out enough signatures to disqualify them.[39]

On March 7, 2014, the Libertarian gubernatorial ticket was stricken from the ballot, having initially gotten the Secretary of State's approval, after a legal challenge from a self-identified Libertarian voter.[40] The challenge alleged that Charlie Earl's signature-gathering effort had been led by Democrats but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted struck Charlie Earl from the ballot on a technicality instead of accepting this reasoning. He found that some of the signature gatherers had failed to properly identify their employer on the correct form and therefore threw out the signatures they had gathered.[41] The legal challenge may affect more than this one candidacy: according to Ballot Access News, "With no gubernatorial candidate on the November ballot, the party will lose its status as a qualified party," which could have consequences in future elections.[42] The Libertarian Party of Ohio failed to win an injunction against this disqualification twice at the district court level and, after a similarly unsuccessful appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for emergency relief that would have allowed Charlie Earl to appear on the May 6 primary ballot. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.[43]On May 2, The Supreme Court rejected the petition.[44] On June 4, a petition for re-hearing before the full Sixth Circuit was rejected, leaving an appeal to the district court as the only possible source of redress.[45][46]

This is one of several complications arsing from new ballot access rules. The rules set vote thresholds that no third parties had met. They would effectively eliminate third parties from the May primary ballots. As it stands, only two Green Party and two Libertarian candidates will be in the general and all four were emergency write-in candidates, not their parties' original choices, who qualified for the general election by receiving enough write-in votes in the primary. Additionally, with no candidate for governor, the Libertarian Party of Ohio will cease to exist as a political party with ballot placement as it cannot achieve the 2 percent of votes necessary to retain its status.[43]

Green Party

Both of the Green Party's candidates were also disqualified for signature-related issues. Two alternative candidates filed to run as write-ins on the Green Party line: Anita Rios and Bob Fitrakis for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively. To get on the November ballot, Rios and Fitrakis needed to receive 500 write-in votes in the primary on May 6. They succeeded and participated in the general election.[47]


Ohio Governor's Race 2014 - Kasich vs. Fitzgerald
Poll John Kasich Ed FitzgeraldOtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
February 12-17, 2014
Magellan Strategies for the Liberty Foundation of America
April 14-15, 2014
April 24-28, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
May 7-8, 2014
May 7-12, 2014
July 7-24, 2014
July 24-28, 2014
August 18, September 2, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
September 8-9, 2014
Columbus Dispatch
September 3-12, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
The Columbus Dispatch
October 22-31, 2014
AVERAGES 50.25% 36% 13.5% +/-2.97 1,536.58
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
Ohio Governor's Race 2014
Poll John Kasich Ed FitzgeraldCharlie EarlNot sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
(November 5-6, 2013)
Public Policy Polling
(December 6-8, 2013)
AVERAGES 40.5% 39.5% 6% 14.5% +/-3.55 803
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


See also: Ohio gubernatorial election, 2010

Kasich declared his candidacy for Governor of Ohio in June of 2009.[48] On January 14, 2010 Kasich selected Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor as his running mate.[49]

In an Ohio first, Kasich initially announced his running mate on social network website[50][51] Kasich had been critical of the GOP with regard to adoption of new media and his campaign took advantage of all the major online networking sites.[52]

In January of 2010, John Kasich was ahead of incumbent Governor Ted Strickland in most major polling.[53]

On November 2, 2010, Kasich defeated incumbent Strickland in the election.[54]

Governor/Lt. Governor of Ohio, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kasich/Mary Taylor 49% 1,889,186
     Democratic Ted Strickland/Yvette McGee Brown Incumbent 47% 1,812,059
     Libertarian Ken Matesz/Margaret Ann Leech 2.4% 92,116
     Green Dennis Spisak/Anita Rios 1.5% 58,475
     Write-In David Sargent 0% 633
Total Votes 3,852,469
Election Results via Ohio Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Kasich is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Kasich raised a total of $21,124,447 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 13, 2013.[55]

John Kasich's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Ohio Governor/Lt. Gov Not up for election $2,775,956
2010 Ohio Governor/Lt. Gov Won $18,348,491
Grand Total Raised $21,124,447


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Kasich's donors each year.[56] Click [show] for more information.


After losing both his parents in a 1987 auto accident, Kasich converted from Roman Catholicism to evangelical Christianity. He is amicably divorced from his first wife, Mary Lee Griffith, and has been married to Karen Waldbillig since 1997. Together, they have two daughters.[57]

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

John Kasich News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link
U.S. Representative (1983–2001)


  1. Ohio Secretary of State, "Governor and Lieutenant Governor: November 2, 2010," accessed July 2, 2013
  2., "Republican sweep statewide offices," November 3, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 Columbus Dispatch, "Kasich focused on his own re-election bid," November 8, 2012
  4., "Election 2014," accessed November 4, 2014
  5. NBC News, "Decision 2014 – Ohio Governor," accessed November 4, 2014
  6. Project Vote Smart, "Governor John Richard Kasich's Biography," accessed July 2, 2013
  7. Politico, "John Kasich’s Obamacare flip burns conservatives," February 4, 2013
  8. National Journal, "Tea Party Groups Clash With Kasich in Ohio," May 3, 2013
  9. New York Times, "In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P.," April 16, 2013
  10. John Kasich at IMDB
  11. The Columbus Dispatch, "Kasich's veto removes voting target for out-of-state college students," April 1, 2015
  12. Ohio Department of Public Safety, "Digest of Motor Vehicles in Ohio," accessed April 2, 2015
  13. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  14. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  15. Wall Street Journal, "The State Tax Reformers," January 29, 2013
  16. Ohio General Assembly, "Bill Text: HB59," accessed June 12, 2014
  17., "Gov. John Kasich's budget plan unveiled in full as House Bill 59," February 12, 2013
  18. Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, "State and Local Tax Alert: Ohio Tax Reform Bill Introduced - House Bill No. 59," February 15, 2013
  19. Ohio Policy Matters, "Kasich tax proposal would further tilt tax system in favor of Ohio’s affluent," February 2013
  20. Media Trackers, "Ohio Liberty Coalition Bashes Gov. Kasich’s Tax Hike Talk," February 20, 2013
  21., "Ohio Gov., Lt. Gov. endorse Romney, but Kasich won't be with Romney in Lorain," April 19, 2012
  22. CNN, "The Last Cookie On The Plate," accessed July 7, 2014
  23. Time Magazine, "Remember the Deficit?" accessed July 7, 2014
  24. National Review, "It oughta be a crime - Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994," September 12, 1994
  25. 25.0 25.1 On The Issues, "John Kasich Vote Match," accessed April 19, 2015
  26. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  27. 27.0 27.1 ABC News, "Ohio Gov. John Kasich Not Denying Interest in Presidential Bid," accessed December 11, 2014
  28. The Hill, "Ohio gov: No decision on presidential run," accessed December 11, 2014
  29. U.S. News, "John Kasich Charts a Different Course," accessed December 11, 2014
  30. Quinnipiac, "Ohio Gov Roars Past Little Known Challenger, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support For Life Options Outweighs Death Penalty," May 14, 2014
  31. The Washington Post, "The remarkable implosion of Ed FitzGerald," August 26, 2014
  32. Columbus Dispatch, "Ohio governor: Kasich ahead by 30 points in new poll," September 14, 2014
  33., "Ryan decides not to run for governor," March 16, 2013
  34. The Plain Dealer-Sun News, "Rep. Tim Ryan considering a run for Ohio governor," April 25, 2012
  35. Plain Dealer, "Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to pass on rematch with John Kasich," January 8, 2013
  36. Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Tea party leader takes first step toward challenging John Kasich in GOP primary," January 6, 2014
  37. Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Tea Party primary challenge to Kasich fizzles," January 6, 2014
  38. Ohio Liberty Coalition, "Stevenot Decides Not to Run for Governor," January 6, 2014
  39. The Plain Dealer, "Ed FitzGerald faces only primary among statewide candidates; Libertarians fail to field full slate," March 10, 2014
  40. Akron Beacon Journal Online, "Libertarian governor candidate challenged in Ohio," March 10, 2014
  41. The Republic, "Ohio elections chief disqualifies 2 Libertarian candidates from May primary after protests," March 10, 2014
  42. Ballot Access News, "Ohio Secretary of State Removes Libertarian Party Statewide Candidates from the Libertarian Primary Ballot," March 10, 2014
  43. 43.0 43.1 Libertarian Party of Ohio v. Jon Husted, "APPLICATION FOR STAY AND EMERGENCY INJUNCTION ADDRESSED TO JUSTICE KAGAN," accessed May 2, 2014
  44. The Republic, "Ohio Libertarians' ballot plea denied at US Supreme Court, re-filed with 2nd justice," May 2, 2014
  45. Ballot Access News, "Sixth Circuit Won’t Rehear Ohio Libertarian Party Ballot Access Case," June 4, 2014
  46. Seymour Tribune, "Legal options trimmed for Libertarian Ohio governor candidate; federal court won't rehear case," June 4, 2014
  47. Ballot Access News, "Ohio Green Party Still Has Chance to Qualify its Gubernatorial Candidate for the November Ballot," March 24, 2014
  48. Dispatch, "It's official: Kasich in governor's race," June 2, 2009 (dead link) (dead link)
  49. Business Journal', "Kasich Picks Ohio Auditor as Running Mate," January 15, 2010
  50. Twitter, "John R. Kasich," accessed July 7, 2014
  51. Redstate, "John Kasich and Mary Taylor – Strong Ohio Ticket in 2010," January 15, 2010
  52. Washington Post, "The GOP: Luddites or high tech?" November, 2009
  53. Real Clear Politics, "Kasich vs. Strickland," accessed July 7, 2014
  54. Dayton Business Journal, "John Kasich names staff members," November 3, 2010
  55. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for John Kasich & Mary Taylor," accessed May 13, 2013
  56. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  57. The New York Times, "A Republican With Rough Edges," April 26, 1998
Political offices
Preceded by
Ted Strickland (D)
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. House of Representatives - Ohio
Succeeded by