Ohio Republicans are in John Kasich's corner — to a point.
The governor was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2014 and in four-plus years has revived an Ohio economy that languished like the rest of the Rust Belt following the Great Recession. That combined success earned Kasich enough political capital to secure the support of Republican donors and operatives in Ohio for his presumed presidential bid and freeze out the other GOP contenders accustomed to hitting up the Buckeye State for campaign cash and operational talent.
Kasich's presidential coming out party, set for July 21 at the Ohio State University in Columbus, had received more than 850 requests for tickets as of Tuesday, his political team confirmed to the Washington Examiner. All of this suggests an Ohio Republican Party and political infrastructure solidly behind the governor's White House run. But Kasich, 63, has a complicated relationship with Republicans at home, possibly limiting how much in-state help he can count on.
"He's wide and not deep," said one veteran Ohio Republican insider, who, like others interviewed for this story, requested anonymity in order to speak critically about Kasich's level of support in the Buckeye State. Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Kasich's political team, maintained otherwise, saying that support for the governor and his likely 2016 campaign is broad and enthusiastic. "Gov. Kasich has been urged by Ohio community and political leaders to run for president," he said. "Since the governor announced he would be making an announcement on July 21st there has been a strong response from Ohio leaders hopeful that he will announce he's entering the race."