Politico: Kasich Advisers Say He’ll Announce July 21

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich is expected to join the Republican field seeking the party’s 2016 nomination for president July 21, reports Politico.

According to the story, first published Sunday evening on the website, Kasich will announce his candidacy  during an event at the student union of his alma mater, The Ohio State University. The Ohio governor, who was easily elected to a second term last year, will follow that event with an announcement tour that includes Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan.

“Despite his late start, Kasich will be one of the most closely watched candidates — partly because Ohio is such a crucial presidential state, putting Kasich on many short lists for vice president,” writes Politico’s Mike Allen. The governor’s advisers say he “combines establishment appeal with a conservative record” dating back to his 18 years serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, during which he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Kasich “will aim to appear less scripted and guarded than the leading candidates,” according to the story.

Politico’s report, subsequently confirmed by other national news organizations, 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 (READ STORY).

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.

The Politico article speculates that the July 21 announcement date gives Kasich the opportunity to raise his profile in time to qualify for the first GOP debate, set for Aug. 6 in Ohio.

“But participation in the Cleveland debate will be based on national polling, and Kasich advisers admit that qualifying will be tough, even with his announcement bump,” according to the story.

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