What You Need To Know About John Kasich

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After more than two dozen contests into the fierce fight for the Republican presidential nomination, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio won his first state Tuesday night.

While one victory out of 35 might not seem much to write home about — especially when front-runner Donald Trump boasts 19 states and territories so far — Kasich's win in his home turf of Ohio was a big deal. That's because the delegate-rich state is winner-take-all, meaning justification for Kasich to stay in the race. And picking off those Ohio delegates makes it more difficult for Trump to win the nomination outright. Buoyed by the win, Kasich pledged on Tuesday to stay in the contest until the nominating convention this July.

“We are going to go all the way to Cleveland and secure the Republican nomination," he said.

So who is John Richard Kasich? Here are a few things to know about the governor.

His Resume:
Unlike outsider Trump, Kasich enters the race with no shortage of experience in politics. The 63-year-old Republican is the two-term governor of Ohio, a quadrennial presidential election swing state. He also represented a Columbus-area congressional seat for nearly 20 years, from the early '80s to 2001. The economy and foreign policy were big areas of focus for the House Armed Services Committee member and Budget Committee chair. When he wasn't in office, Kasich took turns in the pundit chair, as a host on Fox News Channel, and in the financial sector, as an investment banker with the now-shuttered bank Lehman Brothers. Also, the 2016 race isn't Kasich's first time at the presidential rodeo — he launched an early bid in 2000, but dropped out long before the voting began.

One issue where his record is far from moderate? Reproductive rights. As governor, Kasich signed more than a dozen anti-abortion laws.

Where He Stands: Kasich has sought to appeal to moderates throughout the GOP nominating contest, positioning himself as a mild-mannered and statesmanly pragmatist in a race that's been marked by heated rhetoric and shifts to the right. He's largely stayed out of the insult slinging that's frequented the debates and campaign trail. “It’s been my intention to make you proud,” Kasich said during his victory speech Tuesday night. “I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land.” Unlike Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he's open to a pathway to citizenship for some of the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. While he says he personally supports "traditional marriage," he often mentions on the campaign trail that he's been to a gay wedding and says he is "not going to allow discrimination." "Look, we're not changing any laws," he said at one campaign event last month, according to NBC News. "The court has spoken. That's the end of it." One issue where his record is far from moderate? Reproductive rights. As governor, Kasich signed more than a dozen anti-abortion laws and backed a measure to cut more than $1 million in funding for Planned Parenthood. While the candidate doesn't talk much about abortion on the campaign trail, reproductive rights supporters have launched ads to highlight that part of his record to voters. “The secret is out: John Kasich is terrible for women’s health,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund vice president Dawn Laguens said in a statement reported by MSNBC.

His Supporters:
Kasich's secured a handful of endorsements from influential Republicans, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, as Politico notes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the superstar former governor of California, also threw his political muscle behind his longtime friend. Kasich is at the bottom of the pack for fundraising, with his campaign and outside groups supporting his bid, reportedly bringing in $27 million as of February, according to The New York Times.

His Path To Victory:
Isn't clear. As NBC News noted Wednesday, Kasich would have to win more than 100% of the remaining delegates to hit the 1,237 needed to secure the nomination. His hope, as Karen Beckwith, a professor at Case Western Reserve University of Ohio, told NPR this week, is that he and Cruz "can combine to deny Donald Trump a majority of delegates who would be compelled to vote for him on the first ballot" at the Republican convention in July. At that point, delegates committed to candidates through the primary voting process would be free to vote for whomever they want. In that scenario, if negotiations and support breaks for him, Kasich could ultimately emerge the winner. "It is still the case that more Republican party primary voters want someone other than Donald Trump," Beckwith noted. As for whether that's going to happen? "I think it's possible, we'll see if it's probable," she said.

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