|69th Governor of Ohio|
January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Ted Strickland|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 12th district
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Bob Shamansky|
|Succeeded by||Pat Tiberi|
|Chairman of the House Budget Committee|
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Martin Olav Sabo|
|Succeeded by||Jim Nussle|
|Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 15th district
January 3, 1979 – January 13, 1982
|Preceded by||Robert O'Shaughnessy|
|Succeeded by||Richard Pfeiffer|
|Born||John Richard Kasich
May 13, 1952
McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mary Lee Griffith (1975–1980)
Karen Waldbillig (1997–present)
|Alma mater||Ohio State University|
John Richard Kasich (//; born May 13, 1952) is the 69th Governor of Ohio, in office since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 12th congressional district from 1983 to 2001. He was a commentator on Fox News Channel, hosting Heartland with John Kasich (2001–2007). He also worked as an investment banker, as managing director of Lehman Brothers' Columbus, Ohio office until the firm collapsed in 2008.
In the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial election, Kasich defeated Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland, 49% to 47%. He was re-elected in a landslide in 2014, defeating Democrat Ed FitzGerald, the County Executive of Cuyahoga County, 64% to 33% and winning all but two counties.
- 1 Early life, education, and family
- 2 Early political career
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives (1983–2001)
- 4 2000 presidential election
- 5 Private sector career (2001–2009)
- 6 Ohio governor
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life, education, and family
Kasich was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, an industrial town near Pittsburgh. He was the son of Anne and John Kasich, who worked as a mail carrier. Kasich's father was of Czech, while his mother was of Croatian ancestry. Both his father and mother were children of immigrants. Kasich described himself as "a Croatian and a Czech". Kasich was raised a Catholic, but considers denominations irrelevant, and stated that "there's always going to be a part of me that considers myself a Catholic." Having been reared a Roman Catholic, Kasich drifted away from his religion as an adult, but came to embrace an Anglican faith after both his parents were killed in a car crash by a drunk driver.
After attending public schools in McKees Rocks, Kasich enrolled at The Ohio State University, where he joined the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Ohio State in 1974. Kasich originally worked as a researcher for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. From 1975 to 1978, he served as an administrative assistant to then-state Senator Buz Lukens.
Kasich was married to Mary Lee Griffith from 1975 to 1980, had no children with her, and Griffith has campaigned for him post-divorce. He is currently married to his second wife, Karen, and they have twin daughters, Emma and Reese.
Kasich has authored three books. Courage is Contagious was published in 1998 and made the New York Times bestseller list. His second book, Stand for Something: The Battle for America's Soul was published in 2006. Kasich's most recent book, Every Other Monday, was also a New York Times bestseller.
Early political career
In 1978, Kasich was elected to the Ohio Senate, representing the 15th district, after defeating Democratic incumbent Robert O'Shaughnessy with 56% of the vote. At age 26, Kasich was the youngest person ever elected to the Ohio Senate. One of his first acts as a state senator was to refuse a pay raise.
U.S. House of Representatives (1983–2001)
In 1982, Kasich ran for Congress in Ohio's 12th District, based in Columbus, Ohio. He won the Republican primary with 83% of the vote, and defeated incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman Bob Shamansky in the general election by a margin of 50%–47%. Kasich was re-elected eight times after 1982, winning at least 64% of the vote each time.
In 1994, Kasich was one of the Republican leaders to support a last-minute deal with President Bill Clinton to pass the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. After a series of meetings with Clinton's Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta, who was also a long-time friend of Kasich, the assault weapons ban was passed when 42 Republicans crossed party lines and voted with the Democrats to ban assault weapons. Kasich's support of the assault-weapons ban angered the National Rifle Association, which gave Kasich an "F" rating during the 1990s as a result.
During his Congressional career, Kasich was considered a fiscal conservative, taking aim at programs supported by Republicans and Democrats. Kasich worked with Rep. Ron Dellums to cut spending on the B-2 Bomber, and with Ralph Nader in seeking to reduce corporate tax loopholes.
During the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Bob Dole was reported to have considered Kasich as a vice presidential running mate but instead selected Jack Kemp, a former congressman and HUD Secretary. During his 1996 re-election campaign Kasich's Democratic opponent in his House race, Cynthia Ruccia, made comments apparently questioning Kasich's sexuality in an attempt to damage him with conservative voters. Ruccia raised the question of the propriety of bachelor Kasich sharing a Washington townhouse with his male chief-of-staff for several years while the staffer drew a large government salary. Kasich ultimately went on to win the 1996 election.
In 1994, Kasich was called in by Republicans who supported Clinton's Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994 to assist in helping to reduce the overall cost. His support of the bill helped it pass the House, but provisions that outlawed some firearms did not win him fans among gun rights supporters. Many of his constituents were upset that he promised to oppose gun control during his previous election, then voted in favor of it.
In 1993, he became the Ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee where he authored an alternative to Clinton's deficit reduction plan that he presented as relying on spending reductions rather than tax increases. Later that year, the Penny-Kasich Plan, which proposed $103 billion in cuts to federal spending over 5 years, including a politically risky reduction of Medicare payments for recipients who earn $75,000 or more in adjusted gross income, failed by only six votes.
In 1995, when Republicans gained the majority in the United States Congress, Kasich was selected to become Chairman of the House Budget Committee. As Chairman, Kasich worked towards balancing the Federal Budget, and was the chief architect of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. As Chairman of the Budget Committee, Kasich claimed credit for the only U.S. Budget Surplus since 1969.
In 1995, when Kasich assumed the position of Budget Chairman, the U.S. Federal Budget had a deficit of roughly -$163 billion, and upon the conclusion of his tenure as Budget Chairman, the U.S. Federal Budget had a surplus of over $236 billion.
2000 presidential election
Kasich did not seek re-election in 2000, but instead decided in February 1999 to form an exploratory committee to run for President. After very poor fundraising, Kasich dropped out in July 1999, even before the Iowa Straw Poll, and endorsed Texas Governor George W. Bush.
Private sector career (2001–2009)
After leaving Congress, Kasich went to work for Fox News, hosting Heartland with John Kasich on the Fox News Channel and guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor, filling in for Bill O'Reilly as needed. Kasich also frequently appeared as a guest host and analyst on Hannity & Colmes (the title of which was later changed to Hannity).
Kasich served on the board of directors for several corporations, including Invacare Corporation and Chicago-based Norvax Inc. In 2001, Kasich joined Lehman Brothers' investment banking division as a managing director. He remained at Lehman Brothers until its bankruptcy and collapse in 2008. For his work in 2007–2008, Lehman Brothers paid Kasich $182,692 for his 2008 salary, a $432,000 performance bonus for 2007, and $2,250 in other benefits.
Kasich "always had an independent streak", said his friend, Curt Steiner, former chief of staff to former Ohio Governor and U.S. Senator George Voinovich. "He's a solid Republican, but he's always had his own views. [He's] a biological Democrat" [... his parents were Democrats]. "He came from an average background. He's in touch with people. He's not a Beltway thinker."
In early 2007, Kasich was reportedly considering making a serious run for Governor of Ohio in 2010, seeking the Republican nomination to unseat incumbent Ted Strickland. In March 2008, Kasich said that Ohio's state income tax should be "phased out." 
In 2008, Kasich was named the Honorary Chairman of Recharge Ohio, an organization with the stated purpose of electing leaders who would "get our state back on track." Kasich said that he hoped that through Recharge Ohio, he could "provide the framework necessary to allow Ohio to become a leader in economic and educational success."
2010 gubernatorial election
On May 1, 2009, Kasich filed papers to run for Governor of Ohio against incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland. He formally announced his candidacy on June 1, 2009. On January 15, 2010, Kasich announced Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor as his running mate.
During a speech before Ashtabula County Republicans in March 2009, Kasich talked about the need to "break the back of organized labor in the schools," according to the Ashtabula Star Beacon. Ohio's teachers' unions supported Democrat Ted Strickland, and after Kasich's gubernatorial victory, he said, “I am waiting for the teachers’ unions to take out full-page ads in all the major newspapers, apologizing for what they had to say about me during this campaign."
Elsewhere, he said he was willing to work with "unions that make things." 
On May 4, 2010, Kashich won the Republican nomination for governor, having run unopposed. On November 2, 2010, Kasich defeated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland in a closely contested race to win the governorship. He was sworn in at midnight on January 10, 2011, in a private ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. It was then followed by a ceremonial inauguration at the Ohio Theatre at noon on the same day.
Kasich's former employer, News Corp., was accused in 2010 of making improper campaign solicitations for Kasich's campaign. The company hired attorneys to defend itself in an Ohio Elections Commission investigation, who argued that the allegations were not only baseless but also designed to have a "chilling effect" on future press coverage. The Ohio Elections Commission voted 5-0 against finding any violation by FoxNews.
First term (2011–2015)
Upon taking office, Kasich received criticism from Phillip Morris of the Plain Dealer for appointing an all-white, 22-member Cabinet, one containing only 5 women. Kasich responded to the perceived lack of ethnic/gender diversity in his cabinet by saying, "I don't look at things from the standpoint of any of these sort of metrics that people tend to focus on, race or age, or any of those things. It's not the way I look at things... I want the best possible team I can get."
Kasich was an opponent of the Evidence Based Model Program of his predecessor, Governor Ted Strickland. During his tenure, he has pushed to tie teacher pay to performance and for state aid to follow students if they attend charter or private schools.
Throughout his first gubernatorial campaign, Kasich opposed the Ohio high-speed rail project and promised to disband it. Once governor, Kasich fought to use the money on freight rail projects instead. However, in a letter from Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood (who served with Kasich in Congress), it was stated that the money was specifically allocated 'only' for a high-speed rail system, nothing else (which was a condition of its approval by Congress). On December 3, 2010, in a meeting with President Barack Obama, Kasich once again lobbied to use the grant money for transportation projects that did not include 'high-speed' rail. Ultimately, Ohio lost out on the $385 million, all together; it was instead diverted to other states (e.g., California, Florida) that were cooperative about using the grant money for its Congressionally-intended purpose. According to Kasich, the state's transportation budget in 2013 was the largest in its history.
While Kasich's predecessor Ted Strickland signed an executive order allowing collective bargaining opportunities for in-house ("domestic") child care workers, Kasich stated he would not continue those subsidies.
During a speech in January 2011, Kasich referred to a police officer as "an idiot" for pulling him over and issuing a traffic violation 3 years earlier for passing too close to an emergency vehicle. Kasich initially did not apologize, but eventually did so after he received some criticism from the Fraternal Order of Police among others.
On July 1, 2011, Kasich signed a state budget which repealed the estate tax in Ohio effective January 1, 2013.
After Kasich's first year in office, 45,000 new jobs were created in the state of Ohio and the unemployment rate dropped from 9% to 7.9%. During his first year the $8 billion budget deficit was also eliminated through the creation of a balanced budget. Ohio's unemployment rate for February 2014 was 6.5% 
As of March 2013, Kasich oversaw eight executions in Ohio, while commuting four death sentences. According to Kasich, as of 2014, Ohio's prison system had one of the lowest rates of recidivism in the nation.
In June 2013, Kasich signed a budget that cut taxes on business owners by allowing them to pay taxes on only half of their first $250,000 in income. It also reduced income taxes for all Ohioans by 10 percent by 2015. These cuts were paid for in part by a quarter-percentage-point increase in the state sales tax and a small increase in the commercial activity tax for some businesses. The budget also increased spending for many Ohio schools.
Also in June 2013, Kasich received both criticism and praise for signing into effect a bill that placed restrictions on access to abortions. The bill included controversial anti-abortion measures such as mandating any woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound and cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, the bill provided funding to crisis pregnancy centers, which do not provide abortion referrals and are often run by religious groups. Further, under this bill, rape crisis centers would not be able to inform sexual assault victims about abortion options, under threat of losing funding.
Kasich has taken advantage of Obamacare funding to expand Medicaid in Ohio, he says he wishes to keep that part of the law, and "repeal and replace" the rest of the law. He has also declared a "war on human trafficking" and has implemented programs to prevent the practice. In response to Obama's announcement of executive actions for delayed deportation, Kasich said that United States citizenship may have to be provided to illegal aliens.
2014 re-election campaign
Kasich, who was elected with Tea Party support in 2010, faced considerable backlash from the movement. His decision to accept the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, his increased spending, taxation of fracking on Ohio farmland and perceived failure to accomplish enough on charter schools and school vouchers caused Tea Party groups to refuse to support his campaign. When Kasich passed over Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski for the position of Executive Director of the Ohio Republican Party in favor of Matt Borges, who worked with a gay rights group, that choice was widely seen as the last straw. Tea Party groups announced they would support a primary challenger, or, if none emerged, the Libertarian nominee. Zawistowski said, "John Kasich is going to lose in 2014. We don't care who else wins."
Ultimately, Kasich was unopposed in the Republican primary, and the Libertarian nominee, former Republican State Representative Charlie Earl, was removed from the ballot because technical faults in collection rendered many of his ballot-access signatures invalid.
Early on in the election campaign, it appeared that Kasich would have a difficult reelection campaign. However, in November 2014, Kasich won re-election in a landslide, defeating Democrat Ed FitzGerald, the County Executive of Cuyahoga County, 64% to 33%.
In December 2014, Kasich began a "national tour" around the issue of balancing the federal budget. His tour was funded by a new nonprofit group, Balanced Budget Forever, that can raise unlimited cash. One reporter wrote that "... this week's trip had the feel of a soft opening with an itinerary meant to gradually reacquaint Kasich with the grind of the campaign trail."
In April, he announced the formation of his New Day For America PAC.
|1982||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||88,335||50.47%||Bob Shamansky||Democratic||82,753||47.28%||Russell A. Lewis||Libertarian||3,939||2.25%|
|1984||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||148,899||69.54%||Richard S. Sloan||Democratic||65,215||30.46%|
|1986||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||117,905||73.40%||Timothy C. Jochim||Democratic||42,727||26.60%|
|1988||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||204,892||80.14%||Mark P. Brown||Democratic||50,782||19.86%|
|1990||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||130,495||71.99%||Mike Gelpi||Democratic||50,784||28.01%|
|1992||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||170,297||71.24%||Bob Fitrakis||Democratic||68,761||28.76%|
|1994||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||114,608||66.50%||Cynthia L. Ruccia||Democratic||57,294||33.24%||N/A||Write-in||443||0.26%|
|1996||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||151,667||63.88%||Cynthia L. Ruccia||Democratic||78,762||33.17%||Barbara Ann Edelman||Natural Law||7,005||2.95%|
|1998||U.S. House of Representatives||General||John Kasich||Republican||124,197||67.17%||Edward S. Brown||Democratic||60,694||32.83%|
|2010||Governor of Ohio||General||John Kasich||Republican||1,889,186||49.04%||Ted Strickland||Democratic||1,812,059||47.04%||Ken Matesz||Libertarian||92,116||2.39%||Dennis Spisak||Green||58,475||1.52%|
|2014||Governor of Ohio||General||John Kasich||Republican||1,944,848||63.64%||Ed FitzGerald||Democratic||1,009,359||33.03%||Anita Rios||Green||101,706||3.33%|
- Election Results, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 12th District
- List of United States Representatives from Ohio
- Ohio gubernatorial election, 2010
- Ohio gubernatorial election, 2014
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Kasich.|
- U.S. Representative (1983–2001)
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
|Offices and distinctions|