Governor John Kasich touted his successes in his first term and outlined his plan for continued improvements in Ohio should he be voted in for another to a crowd of more than 250 at Wannemacher Logistics on Friday. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Governor John Kasich touted his successes in his first term and outlined his plan for continued improvements in Ohio should he be voted in for another to a crowd of more than 250 at Wannemacher Logistics on Friday. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)

LIMA — Ohio Gov. John Kasich made one of his first campaign stops in northwest Ohio Friday, visiting Wannemacher Logistics on Hanthorn Road in Lima.

Kasich was quick to outline his successes in his first term at the helm.

“When I started, the unemployed in Ohio could have filled 3 1/2 Ohio stadiums,” he said. “We have created 263,000 private sector jobs and given our workers back their dignity. Having a job is a morale issue.”

When Kasich took office in 2011, the state’s debt was $8 billion. Today, there is a $1.5 billion surplus.



“We were carrying this huge debt. We just had to sit down at the table and decide what we needed and what we didn’t need,” Kasich said. “And along the way, we cut taxes and we are poised for more economic growth. We not only have agriculture and manufacturing, which are doing great, we are also involved in energy and are attempting to become independent. We are expanding our service and upgrading our logistics. When you see those orange barrels, that means people are working, we’re moving things.”

Kasich also touched on the elimination of the “death tax” in Ohio.

“You shouldn’t have to visit the undertaker and the tax man on the same day and walk away without your [family] business,” he said. “We got rid of that and are encouraging the federal government to do the same. Small business is the engine of economic growth.”

Kasich urged everyone to get involved to solve the state’s problems, rather than waiting on someone else or the government to come to the rescue.
“We have 11.5 million people with diverse backgrounds. We have the formula to be great,” he said. “We need to get folks involved instead of thinking someone else is going to fix it.”

Education is a large part of Kasich’s campaign drive and his last budget included more funding for K-12 schools, bringing trade schools back to Ohio and universities and community colleges pledging to focus on students completing courses and earning degrees, not tuition.

“We need our high school guidance counselors guiding people. They need to be helping our students map out their future, not being used as a lunch room monitor,” he said. “We have universities and community colleges committing to their students and their success.”

Kasich referenced a school in Cincinnati with a 65-percent graduation rate that was lifted to 97 percent just by having community members coming into the school and talking with students and taking an interest in their success.

“You don’t need to try and change 100, 50 or even 10 people’s lives,” he said. “You just need to change one.”

Kasich closed by urging the 250 in attendance to become a part of the solution to Ohio’s challenges.

“We need to take our communities back. We have lost our sense of personal responsibility,” he said. “We need to get our folks in the schools and talking to our youth. I read somewhere that even just one conversation with a young person about the scourge of drugs make sthem 50 percent less likely they’ll do drugs. We’ve rolled out a new program called ‘Start Talking’ and its our plan for the war on drugs and it starts with talking.

“As a society we are too chaotic. We need to be in our schools and in our communities. When I was young and I did something wrong, there was a neighbor on their front porch who would see me and tell my parents. I hated those conversations but they put me on the right track. We need to get back on our front porches and get our youth engaged and involved. It will bring greater peace, greater safety and greater success. We need to grab our kids and point them to the stars. We can rejuvenate America starting with Ohio.”

Kasich also made campaign stops in Bellefontaine, Bowling Green and Bryan on Friday. He will visit Port Clinton, Tiffin, Marion and Delaware on Saturday. He faces Democrat Ed FitzGerald in the November election.