John Kasich is the incumbent Governor of Ohio. As the successor of Ted Strickland, Kasich assumed Governor’s office on January 10, 2011 alongside his running mate, Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. Formerly, Kasich was Chair of the House Budget Committee (1995 – 2001), a member of the US House of Representatives (1983 – 2001) and a member of the Ohio Senate (1979 – 1983).

Early Life and Education

John Kasich was born on May 13, 1952 to father John Sr. and mother Anne. Brought up in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania under Roman Catholicism, Kasich joined a public school in his hometown. Graduating from high school, he joined Ohio State University for undergraduate studies.

While a freshman at Ohio State, Kasich wrote a letter to the incumbent President Richard Nixon requesting for a meeting. As the letter was delivered with the help of University President, John got a chance to meet President of the United States for 20 minutes. This meeting increased Kasich’s fame in the college years and earned him an undergraduate degree in politics in 1974.

Personal Life

John Kasich is currently married to Karen Waldbillig with two children: Emma and Reese. Previously, he was married to Mary Le Griffith for five years i.e. from 1975 to 1980. Karen and John married in 1997.

Ohio Governer John Kasich with his second and current wife Karen Waldbillig with two children: their children Emma and Reese.


As a political science graduate from Ohio State University, John Kasich always aspired for a fine career in politics. As he graduated, he joined Senator Buz Lukens as an administrative assistant. Soon enough, Kasich – apparently a young political prodigy – got elected to the Ohio Senate at an age of 26 as the successor of Richard Pfeiffer. As a Senator, he stood up against tax rises, budget approval and pay rises.

Deciding to leave the Ohio Senate in 1983, John Kasich ran for the US House of Representatives in 1982. He won his first term at the office with 50% votes against Democrat Bob Shamansky’s 47% votes. Thereafter, Kasich won eight more elections to hold the seat at House of Representatives for 18 consecutive years. In 1984, he had a landslide victory against Democrat candidate Richard Sloan with 70% votes. Likewise, in 1986 and 1988, Kasich increased his marginal win by acquiring 73% and 80% votes respectively. In 1990, he defeated Democrat opponent Mike Gelpi with 72% votes. Thereafter, Kasich’s winning margins have dropped a little – 71% in 1992, 67% in 1994, 64% in 1996 and 67% in 1998.

As a Congressman, Kasich significantly served as a Republican ranking member of the House Budget Committee and Chairman of the House Budget Committee. In 2000, Kasich bade for the office of US President but had to drop off because of fund shortages. Hence, he turned towards private sector for a few years. Some of his books authored by Kasich include Every Other Monday (2010), Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul (2006) and Courage is Contagious (1998). Besides, he ventured into several businesses such as Invacare Corporation and Norvax Inc. as a board member. Likewise, he was also a managing director at Lehman Brothers.

After a decade-long hibernation from politics, Kasich returned with a bid for Governor of Ohio in 2010 Gubernatorial election. Having easily gained the Republican nomination, he faced Democrat Ted Strickland and Libertarian Ken Matesz in the general election and won with a tight margin of 2% votes. Likewise, in the 2014 gubernatorial election, Kasich defeated Ed FitzGerald with 64% votes as opposed to FitzGerald’s 33% votes and Anita Rios’ 3% votes.

2016 Presidential Campaign

A renowned figure in American politics, John Kasich announced his candidacy for President of the United States on 21st July 2015. Having gained significant donations from individual to corporate levels, Kasich did well at the beginning and even managed to gain an endorsement from the New York Times. Likewise, the Time magazine also called him a potential and better Republican candidate for President. However, he managed to grab delegates only from his home state Ohio. Hence, Kasich dropped out of the race leaving frontrunners Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on the track. This move led to a reduction in uncertainty of a candidate reaching a majority for the Republican nomination.

Donald Trump and John Kasich

Although the two leaders represent the same party, President Donald Trump and Governor Kasich are two different persons. While Trump is a business prodigy, Kasich is a political prodigy. Withdrawing from the presidential race, Kasich was uncertain about endorsing Trump. Hence, Trump was never polite and respectful about Kasich.

In 2016, it was reported that Kasich was offered the position of vice president if Trump wins. However, he rejected the offer, but, according to Trump side, no such offer was made. Reportedly, Trump allied with a conspiracy theorist to claim that Kasich would rig the Ohio elections. Despite such feuds, the two leaders met in February 2017 at the White House. Kasich has even been authoring a book named Two Paths: America Divided Or United.


Categories: Biography

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