John Richard Kasich (born May 13, 1952) is the 69th and current Governor of Ohio. 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, from 2001 to 2007. In the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial election, Kasich narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland, receiving 49% of the vote.
Kasich was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania,where his father worked as a mail carrier.After attending public schools in McKees Rocks, he enrolled at 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.He 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.
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, he 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
John Kasich was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982, defeating incumbent Bob Shamansky. Kasich was reelected eight times, serving from 1983 to 2001.
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.Kasich claimed credit for the surplus in a budget that the GOP-controlled Congress passed into law.
Governor of Ohio
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 current Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor as his running mate. On May 4, 2010, he won the Republican nomination for governor, having run unopposed. On November 2, 2010 he defeated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland to win the governorship.
John Kasich, was sworn in at midnight on January 10, 2011 in a private ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Gov. Kasich made a comment in front of the Environmental Protection Agency on January 21, 2011 where he insulted a Columbus Police Officer for a traffic violation he received in 2008 and later plead guilty in court for. Polls within Kasich's first few months in office (March 2011) reveal a 40% approval rating, the worst rating for a first term Governor since Dick Celeste in 1983. In comparison, previous first term Governors polled: Strickland - 68%, Voinovich - 51% and Taft - 48%.
It was followed by a ceremonial inauguration at the Ohio Theatre at noon on the same day.Kasich has opted to stay in the family home outside of the city rather than move into the Governor's Mansion which many have already questioned as a "fiscally conservative" move given the amount, and secrecy of such, of security expenditure needed to make his family's home secure. Despite offering two cabinet positions to black candidates, including one position to Franklin County Auditor, Clarence E. Mingo, II, Kasich has received criticism with the appointment of his all white cabinet, the first Ohio Governor to not appoint at least one minority since 1962. Also of note, of the 22 only five are women. Kasich's defiant response to the lack of diversity in his cabinet, "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 raised as a Roman Catholic, but converted to a more evangelical form of Christianity after his parents were both killed in an automobile crash in 1987.However, he does not identify himself with the Christian right.Kasich is of Croatian descent.Kasich amicably divorced his first wife, Mary Lee Griffith, who helped campaign for him after the divorce during the 1990s.
He is currently married to his second wife, Karen. Their daughters attend Worthington Christian schools. Kasich was pulled over for a traffic violation on January 11, 2008 for violating public safety, repeatedly calling the police officer who ticketed him "an idiot" even after Kasich pleaded guilty to the violation. Upon discovery of the comments, police officer and other public workers were infuriated. "Police officers in Ohio already do difficult and dangerous work, so it doesn't help when the governor calls an officer doing his job and protecting the public an 'idiot,'" said Ohio Fraternal Order of Police president Jay McDonald. The Ohio Democratic Party unearthed video of Kasich's comments and put it on YouTube.Democrats and the Fraternal Order of Police have noted that Kasich is backing Senate Bill 5, a proposal that would end collective bargaining in Ohio, which would directly impact police officers and other government organized labor workers.
May 18th, 2011