by Tyler Roaix
Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) came to Glastonbury High School Friday evening to make his pitch to Connecticut Republicans on why he should represent the party in the general election this November. The event came just days before the Connecticut primary vote, on April 26th.
In front of a little more than 1,500 people that filled the gymnasium of Glastonbury High School, Kasich entered by dancing and clapping along to Walk the Moon’s hit single, “Shut Up and Dance.” He brought in a level of optimism, emphasizing his belief in the values that make America strong.
“Each and every one of you is special in your own way,” said Kasich. “There has never been any one like you and there will never be anyone quite like you again.”
Kasich also shared stories of his youth, including when he wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon, who eventually responded by inviting Kasich to the White House.
The talk quickly switched to education and the importance of training people while they are young. Kasich called teachers the most, “underpaid people on the face of the Earth,” which earned him the loudest ovation of the night.
Maureen Boatman, of Glastonbury, made no hesitations when asked who she supports in the race.
“I support Kasich,” said Boatman. “Not only does he have the best character, but also the best qualifications. Just look at what he did in Ohio.”
His success as governor of the Buckeye State was a major focus for Kasich. He reiterated his economic accomplishments specifically. He boasted over the creation of over 400,000 new jobs in his home state and the fact he was able to, “Take a $8 billion hole and turn it into a $2 billion surplus.”
It is well known that Connecticut’s economy has been in a downward spiral. As Kasich was listing his economic plans – lower taxes, easier regulations and finding ways to keep companies from going abroad – residents of the Nutmeg State were getting increasingly excited.
John Tyczkowski, 26, a local entrepreneur, explained why he’s backing Kasich in this election.
“He’s just more well-rounded than any of the other candidates,” said Tyczkowski. “He’s been an executive as governor of Ohio, so he knows how to lead. But he’s also no stranger to the legislative process.”
Kasich finished his speech by giving voters one last pitch of his electability. He pointed out how he has experience in legislation at both the state and federal level. He has much more experience than competitors, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and he made that well-known on Friday night.
“If you want to go on an airplane flight, it’s best to go with somebody’s who’s flown a bunch – I don’t want to get in an airplane with somebody that says, ‘Well I’ve never really done this before, but I think I can do it because I’m really great,'” he said in an obvious jab at Trump.
Polls give Trump, who leads the Republican candidates with 845 delegates, a 22-point lead in Connecticut. But despite being a sizable underdog, Kasich is still hopeful for a contested convention.
“We’re hunting delegates,” said Kasich. “Regardless of what these other two people have to say, when you win 15 separate polls over Hillary and they lose 15 separate polls, that would be a big consideration when we get to Cleveland.”
We are still a long ways away from the Republican National Convention in July, but it’s obvious that John Kasich, no matter what the numbers say, isn’t going away any time soon.