Former Columbus-area Congressman John Kasich gave the keynote speech at the Seneca and Sandusky Counties’ Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner last night (Feb. 5, 2009) in Tiffin. I was in attendance to hear what he and others had to say. You can check out this related article from the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, if you like. Others who spoke from the podium included Dayton-area State Senator and former Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted, Cleveland-area State Representative Josh Mandel, and local Congressman Bob Latta. Local State Senator Karen Gillmor and local State Representatives Jeff Wagner and Terry Boose were also in attendance, but did not speak.
As many in the blogosphere have already guessed, Kasich is giving serious thought to running for Ohio Governor in 2010, Jon Husted is giving serious thought to running for Ohio Secretary of State in 2010, and Josh Mandel is giving serious thought to running for Ohio Treasurer in 2010. They confirmed from their own mouths that they were giving serious thought to running for these statewide positions, though none of them were ready to officially announce for certain that they were seeking these seats.
We’ve heard that Ohio has lost much more than 200,000 jobs since 2000. Kasich is letting everyone know that Ohio has lost much more than 100,000 thousand jobs since Ted Strickland took office in early 2007. Kasich is also letting everyone know that Ohio is dead last or nearly dead last among the fifty states for new business start-ups in virtually any way one chooses to measure such a statistic. On the topics of both Ohio’s economy and Ohio’s education system, Kasich sees that under current leadership, Ohio is spiraling ever downward and out of control. He likened the current national and statewide decay of our standard of living as what we’ve experienced during the Jimmy Carter Administration, with Democrats at the time telling us to lower our expectations for what the future had in store. Ronald Reagan rejected the dismal forecasts and chose a bolder path. John Kasich urged Republicans in attendance to reject the path of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and Strickland. He asked everyone to mobilize to turn Ohio around, starting with visiting the website www.RechargeOhio.com and signing up.
Husted echoed Kasich’s sentiments and reiterated some of Kasich’s statistics.
Mandel charmed the crowd with some self-deprecating humor about his youthful appearance, while reminding everyone of the dedicated women and men who serve in the armed forces. He held up a pair of shoes with the soles and heels worn out from canvassing neighborhoods during his state rep campaigns, and promised he wouldn’t be outworked by his opponents if he officially undertakes the statewide campaign to become Ohio Treasurer.
Congressman Latta delivered the most red meat, as he hammered away at the foolishness of the bailout packages and the proposed economic stimulus bill. Latta seemed quite genuine in his conservative assessment of the shenanigans on Capitol Hill, and the crowd reaction was very favorable.
Several local politicians were present, as well, with Seneca County Engineer Mark Zimmerman capturing much of the spotlight, since he emceed the event.