Kasich Bold, Brash and Good for Region, Munroe Says

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mark Munroe, chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, says Gov. John Kasich is “bold, he’s brash, and sometimes a little arrogant as he drives himself to do what he believes is right,” but his candidacy for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination stands to “make an enormous impact on the country, the state and the Mahoning Valley.”

Munroe says he and other Republican leaders across Ohio joined a conference call Sunday night at which time they learned that Kasich plans to announce his candidacy July 21 at The Ohio State University campus (READ STORY).

“We should be excited about the prospect of a Kasich presidential run,” the county party chairman says. “He grew up 60 miles from Youngstown, in McKees Rocks, just outside of Pittsburgh. As a young man, he was very aware of the industrial giant that was Youngstown, and he knows well our challenges and history.”

Munroe credits Kasich’s time in Congress, where he served as chairman of House Budget Committee, for “engineering the balanced budgets that Bill Clinton likes to take credit for.”

He calls the lengthy list of GOP candidates an “impressive crop” but Kasich, obviously, is his favorite.

“In addition to his strong conservative underpinnings, Kasich has shown an incredible compassion for the least among us, and has been determined to find ways for government to be effective in helping those who have fallen on difficult times,” Munroe says. “That determination, I believe, is grounded in his strong faith which guides much of what he does.”

The Ohio governor, who was easily elected to a second term last year, will follow his July 21 announcement with a tour that includes Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan.

News of Kasich’s July 21 announcement date comes as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to enter the crowded GOP race tomorrow. As of today, 13 Republicans are candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Before running for Ohio governor, Kasich, 63, was a managing director for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. He also hosted an opinion show on Fox News.

Pundits and former colleagues have questioned whether Kasich’s off-the-cuff style and temperament could be a liability. Criticisms leveled at him include that he appears cranky and often criticizes other Republicans.

Kasich, who has traveled to key GOP primary states in recent weeks, has said that lack of enthusiasm for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – who was expected to be the presumptive front-runner — was among the factors that encouraged him to consider a run this time.

The July 21 announcement will put Kasich a week behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who plans to announce his bid the week of July 13, according to published reports.

Like Walker, Kasich waged a high-profile battle with organized labor early in his first term. Senate Bill 5, legislation backed by Kasich that would have curtailed collective bargaining rights for public employees, was overturned in the November 2011, handing Kasich a big defeat. He overcame that loss with his big re-election win last year.

Walker survived a recall election over battles with labor in his state and also was re-elected last fall.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.