Who is John Kasich?

How a kid from Pennsylvania gained political power in Ohio and started a quest for the presidency

Republican John Kasich is a brash, hard-charging and ambitious politico who once again set his sights on winning the most powerful political office in the world.

In July 2015, Kasich, 63, made a formal announcement that he is running for the GOP nomination for president. He held a splashy event at the Ohio Union, the centerpiece of Ohio State University’s main campus. OSU is what drew Kasich to Ohio back in 1970 when he left his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.

At this point, the second-term Ohio governor is considered an underdog in a field crammed with more than a dozen presidential wannabees – many with more name recognition, media flare and money than Kasich has.

Kasich has a solid resume. He worked briefly as a legislative aide before running for Ohio Senate in 1978 and then Congress in 1982. In 1999, he made a brief run for president. After 18 years in Congress, he decided against running for re-election and Lehman Brothers hired him, despite lacking the necessary finance credentials. During his hiatus from political office, Kasich wrote books, hosted a FoxNews talk show, delivered speeches and was named an OSU presidential fellow.

In 2010, he beat incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland to win the governor’s race. And in 2014, he was re-elected in a landslide against Democrat Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive and former FBI agent. Then, just 11 months after beginning his second term as governor, Kasich began traveling the country, testing the presidential waters and advocating for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

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