YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Just days before the election, Republicans returned to the Valley on Thursday and leading the pack was Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The visit was part of the Ohio Works Bus Tour. Kasich and the entire statewide Republican ticket were at Dearing Compressor and Pump Company on Midlothian Boulevard in Youngstown Thursday afternoon.
Kasich told the story of growing up in a blue collar family, saying creating jobs and growing the economy is the most important job he has.
“We have gone from the loss of 350,000 ….. 350,000 people going home to their family, telling them they were out of work and as of today, a quarter of a million, 250,000 have gone back into their homes saying they got a job,” Kasich said to a round of applause.
The Governor urged those in the plant to vote not just because of politics, but based on results and values, saying the Valley could make a huge statement in Tuesday’s results.
“I don’t know if it is possible, frankly, for a Republican to win over here, but every additional vote that I get from somebody who says ‘we are going to judge you on performance’ and ‘you keep lifting others and we will help lift you,’ will be something I will never forget,” he said.
The Republican incumbent has led in fundraising and in the polls during the governor’s race. His strength and position as the top elected official in one of the nation’s key swing states has fueled renewed talk he may again seek the presidency in 2016, more than a decade after his first flirtation with the White House.
“I’m blessed to be in this job, and I don’t look beyond my purpose here as governor,” Kasich told the audience at a forum earlier this week organized by the Columbus Metropolitan Club.
Kasich is running largely on Ohio’s improved economy under his watch, a bounce tied at least in part to recovery from a national recession.
The governor said he isn’t lacking in ideas for a second term. He spoke about lowering the state’s income tax, having more mentors for children in schools and addressing the cost of higher education.
Kasich also is pushing tax increases on the oil and gas industry, along with bolstering regulations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.