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Name: John Richard Kasich
Declared as a candidate: July 21, 2015 at the Ohio State University.
What he does now: Kasich is the 69th Governor of Ohio, elected first in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
What he used to do: Kasich was a managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers up until the 2008 financial collapse. He also served in Congress for 18 years, where he was chairman of the House Budget Committee from 1995 to 2001. He unsuccessfully ran for president in 2000.
In his own words: “I think I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party.”
Family tree: Kasich was born the eldest of three to two Democratic parents, both of whom were children of immigrants. His father was a mailman and believed Democrats were for the working man, though his mother eventually became a Republican. Sadly, Kasich lost both his parents in a car crash in 1987 — they were killed by a drunk driver.
Where he grew up: In a working class neighborhood in Pennsylvania. He was very active in the Catholic church. As an altar boy, he dreamed of someday becoming a priest, and was even nicknamed, ‘Pope’. After enrolling in the Ohio State University, he abandoned his dreams of priesthood after realizing the implication of a life of celibacy.
Breakout moment in politics: Kasich made history in Ohio by becoming the youngest elected senator in its legislature’s history. He was elected to Congress when he was 30 and rose through the ranks to ultimately chair the House Budget Committee. During his time in Congress, he teamed up with fellow Rep. Ron Dellums of California to curb production of the B-2 bomber, which cost $1 billion per plane.
Claim to fame: In 1997, Kasich made Newsweek’s “The Century Club,” list, a compilation of people to watch in the 21st century. In the company of superstars like Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock.
What you might not know about him: Kasich was kicked off the stage at a Grateful Dead concert in 1991. He had a pass to be on stage for the opener, Dwight Yoakam, but attempted to go back on stage as the Dead played.
Famous friend: Arnold Schwarzenegger. “He’s a pal, he’s been a great friend of mine,” Kasich once told the Columbus Dispatch. “There aren’t that many people like him on the Earth.”
Known for: His brash style and tone. Following his 2010 gubernatorial election win, he told lobbyists at a luncheon, “If you’re not on the bus we will run you over with the bus. And I’m not kidding.” In 2008, Kasich was ticketed for “approaching a public safety vehicle with lights displayed.” Speaking of the incident in January 2011, Kasich bluntly referred to the police officer who cited him as “an idiot.”
Might have wished for a do-over: In 2011, Kasich championed and signed into law legislation that implemented restrictive collective bargaining measures. After a campaign led by teachers, police and firefighters, the voters of Ohio were able to place a voter referendum on Ohio’s 2011 general election ballot. Kasich defended the bill, arguing that it was intended to close the then 8-billion budget hole in Ohio. On November 8, 2011, however, Ohio voters soundly rejected Kasich’s argument; 61 percent of voters chose to repeal the law.
What he did during the political off-season: Worked for Fox News. After declining to run for re-election for Congress in 2001 and after a failed presidential bid in the 2000 election, Kasich landed a show on Fox News. Heartland with John Kasich, a program similar in style to Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor, aired its final show in 2007.
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