Ohio Governor John Kasich was one of the last candidates to jump into the 2016 presidential race to announce his candidacy, waiting until late July. As the chief executive of one of the most important presidential swing states, Kasich drew immediate interest and his moderate and pragmatic approach has attracted some support.
Kasich has kept the focus of his campaign on economic opportunity and getting things done in Washington. Some of his positions have put him at odds with conservatives in his party. Kasich did not criticize the Supreme Court's same sex marriage decision and says he "wouldn't take anything off the table" in regard to immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. He was one of the few Republican governors who adopted the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, which he ardently defends.
Kasich served as head of the House Budget Committee during the 1990s where he played a lead role in crafting a measure with President Bill Clinton to balance the budget. After he left Congress, he worked for Lehman Brothers when the firm shuttered in 2008, setting off the recession.
In contrast to some other candidates, Kasich often points to his Washington achievements as evidence of his ability to work with Democrats in Washington to further his conservative-based economic agenda. "I have the experience and the testing," he said in his announcement speech. "The testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world, and I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States."
Kasich has yet to win a state during the primary contest, but finished second in New Hampshire and Vermont. The governor is quick to remind his audiences of the importance of his state, saying "You can't be president if you don't win Ohio."