Ohio Gov. John Kasich officially announced his presidential run Tuesday, telling a crowd at Ohio State University that "the sun is rising" in America again.
"I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president of the United States," he said.
In a speech that described the woes of Americans worried about lost jobs, health care costs and crushing student debt — and that made a point to reference the specific worries of minorities — Kasich also tried to strike an optimistic note.
"The sun is rising, and the sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again," he said. "I promise you."
Highlighting his experience working with former President Ronald Reagan, the former congressman said he has the right resume to serve as the commander in chief.
"I have to humbly tell you that I believe I do have the skills, and I have the experience and the testing that shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world," he said.
Kasich also spoke at length about the need for compassion from public officials as well as the importance of religious faith in his life.
""I am just a flawed man trying to honor God's blessing," he said.
The Republican governor joins fifteen other candidates hoping to capture the GOP nod. Three of them are his fellow sitting governors: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
He enters the race just one day after a new Washington Post/ABC News poll showed businessman Donald Trump topping the field in the GOP primary.
The former congressman is considered a relatively moderate Republican with an impressive resume and executive experience, and his home state of Ohio is a perennial key to his party’s success in a presidential general election.
But his late entry to the race could be a challenge. At least at this point, he is polling in the low single digits, still without sufficient support to be eligible for FOX News’ first Republican primary debate in less than three weeks.
He has also angered conservatives with his 2013 decision to expand Medicaid within his state as a part of Obamacare, and with his openness to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.