Candidate For Governor of Ohio: John Kasich (R)
1. Please provide your name, age, family status, education, current job(s) held, and any current or previous elected offices held.
Name: John R. Kasich
Family status: Married to Karen; Two daughters (Emma & Reese)
Education: B.A. The Ohio State University
Current job(s) held: Governor (2011 – present)
Current or revious elected offices held: Governor (2011 – present); U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2001); Ohio Senate (1979-1983)
2. If you were grading yourself and your current Administration in Columbus, what grade would you give? What has been done well and what needs to be improved upon?
I’m not going to assign a grade. However, I think our record speaks for itself. When I came in, Ohio was down more than 350,000 private sector jobs, we faced an $8 billion budget shortfall, we had just 89 cents in the state ‘rainy day’ fund, and our credit was at risk of being downgraded. We made the tough decisions Ohio needed to get our economy back on track, and we did it without raising taxes. Today we’re up a quarter-million private sector jobs, Ohio’s unemployment rate is below the national average and Ohioans’ wages are growing faster than the national average. We’re making great strides to strengthen our education and workforce systems and we’re helping those who, for too long, have lived in the shadows. We have more work to do but things are getting better across the state, and we need to keep that progress going.
3. Explain how, given your background and experience, you plan to address the areas that you noted above as those that could be improved upon? Please be as specific as you can.
We would continue to build on our success and continue to innovate, as we have done for four years now. When we came in, Ohio was down 350,000 private sector jobs and now we're up nearly a quarter-million. We inherited and then balanced the historic $8 billion budget shortfall without raising taxes, we’ve cut taxes by more than $3 billion, we’re getting government out of the way by eliminating red tape, and we’re returning $2 billion to employers thanks to strong management at the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Our focus is on encouraging investment and risk taking, which will continue to spur job growth across Ohio. We will also use the second term to do a better job of marketing Ohio so the rest of the country can learn about the pro-jobs approach we've taken here, how it's helping job creators, and why people all over the country should want to live and grow a business in our great state.
4. If you are re-elected, how will the average citizen of Ohio be able to tell that things are improving because of your work?
For the first time in about a decade, Ohioans feel good about the direction of our state. We’re on the right track and, as I travel around Ohio, I hear from people who feel better today than they did four years ago. My job as governor is to lift people, make Ohio stronger, give people hope and help them reach their true potential. I grew up in a blue-collar town where I learned the value of hard work and was raised by two parents who taught me to help those who are hurting and do what I can to make things better in the world around me. We've come a long way over the past four years but we have more work to do, and I will continue to do everything I can to push Ohio forward and help all Ohioans lead more prosperous lives.
5. What other key issues, program, policies, etc., not already discussed, do you plan to take on if you are elected to the job of Governor of Ohio for a second term?
We’ve made great progress over the past four years, but there is more work to do. We will continue to nurture an environment that promotes job creation and the diversification of Ohio’s economy will remain the top priority because without jobs, everything else suffers. Reducing the tax burden on Ohioans through tax reforms that lower the income tax, doing a better job of marketing Ohio to make it more attractive to out-of-state investors and visitors, maintaining focus on efforts to better link education and worker training to in-demand jobs, sustaining the multi-prong fight against drug abuse, continuing to support those with mental illness and fight against human trafficking, expanding Ohio's new mentorship program, and reforming welfare to help Ohioans up and out of their tough situations will be priorities of the second term. But Ohio's long-term strength is about more than just policy. It's also about changing the culture in Ohio so our state continues to move forward and we avoid policies that allow Ohio to slip back into the budget difficulties and economic problems of the past.