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John Richard Kasich, Jr. (1952–) is the former Governor of Ohio who ran for the Republican Presidential nomination for the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. He was the most popular governor in the country and has a long history of bipartisanship. He's a known policy wonk and fan of the Grateful Dead. He's been compared to Jon Huntsman (though he's mostly to the right of Huntsman). For the 2016 race, despite his strong record, he is simply too moderate for the GOP - or a RINO, depending on your views. He is known for his passionate hatred for the film Fargo.
- Expanded Medicaid in Ohio since he realized through math that it would actually be a benefit to his state. To his credit, the percentage of uninsured Ohioans dropped from 17% to 11%.
- He supports criminal justice and prison reform. He believes that the prison system is too large and took steps as Governor of Ohio such as sending those convicted of 4th and 5th-degree felonies to halfway homes instead of prison.
- He used to be strongly opposed to but has since taken a moderately conservative stance on gay marriage, saying that while he's still for "traditional marriage" he accepts the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue and doesn't seem interested in pressing the issue any further. He criticized Kim Davis (who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples) and said she should follow the law.
- In December 2018, he signed an executive order that prohibited discrimination against workers for the state of Ohio, on the basis of not only race and sexual orientation, but also "gender identity and expression", thus offering a touch more protection for Transgender and non-binary employees.
- In 2016, Kasich refused to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and did not vote for him in the 2016 election (he reportedly cast a write-in vote for John McCain instead). In 2020, he endorsed Joe Biden.
- He believes the Black Lives Matter movement has legitimate grievances.
- Not having to run for office gives him more latitude to sincerely criticize Trump, as compared to most "never-trumpers" who usually toe the Party line when it counts.
- Slowly leading Ohio to be one of the most anti-abortion states in the country, almost surpassing Texas.
- Supports schools teaching Intelligent Design.
- Said marijuana is as bad as heroin.
- During his first year as Governor of Ohio, he proposed a bill (Senate Bill 5, or SB5) stripping collective bargaining rights and benefits from public employees. SB5 went even further than the similar Act 10 bill proposed (and ultimately passed) by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (!) by including police officers and firefighters among the public employees who would have been affected by the bill. Ultimately, SB5 was overturned by a public referendum, and Kasich has tried to bury the issue ever since.
“”The fact is that you can have a strong environmental policy at the same time that you have strong economic growth; they are not inconsistent with one another.
Kasich has been frustratingly inconsistent in his attitude towards accepting anthropogenic climate change. He accepts that climate change is real and has noted that humans contribute to it but says the extent of human impact is unknown. He admitted he does not know enough about it and believes "we shouldn't worship the environment". To his credit, he does support taking action to address climate change but does not think the EPA should regulate emissions.
The smoke-filled room is back
Kasich, who needed 110% of the remaining delegates to win nomination after his lone Ohio primary victory in 2016, made no bones about remaining in the race and driving it to an open convention. Like his predecessor, Ohio boss Warren G. Harding, the two have become a byword for the proverbial "smoke-filled room" selection of presidential nominees. Granted that the other options were Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and Kasich was clearly more qualified than Harding, this was one of those peculiar cases where blatant corruption would've been a good thing.
Kasich has the distinction of being the last of the Republican contenders to suspend his campaign when he dropped out on May 4, 2016, one day after Ted Cruz.
- Kate Davidson & Andrew Ackerman, John Kasich Says Kentucky Clerk Should Follow Law on Gay Marriage, Wall Street Journal (September 6, 2015).
- Trudy Ring, Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs Order Protecting Trans State Workers, advocate.com (December 21, 2018).
- Henry J. Gomez. "John Kasich follows through on vow not to vote for Donald Trump, writes in John McCain instead". Retrieved 2016-12-23.
- Peter Baker, John Kasich, a ‘Deeply Worried’ Republican, Steps Up for Biden, the New York Times 17 Aug. 2020
- John Kasich Drops Out of Presidential Race New York Times