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Gov. John Kasich Travels to Medina Today for State of the State Address

Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:45 AM

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Gov. John Kasich talks with reporters in Independence this month. (ideastream file photo by Nick Castele)

Gov. John Kasich and the state legislature head to Medina for the governor's State of the State speech tonight. ideastream's Nick Castele reports the governor will not be far from the home base of his possible opponent this November.

Since becoming governor, Kasich has left tradition behind, taking his agenda-setting speech out of the Statehouse and on the road. He spoke in Steubenville in 2012, Lima in 2013, and this year he comes to Medina, a 35-minute drive from downtown Cleveland.

It’s said Kasich picked Medina to honor House Speaker William Batchelder, who is from there and leaves office this year.

Dave Cohen at the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron says the choice also puts Kasich’s face on TV in the largely Democratic Greater Cleveland area.

“Medina is clearly a Republican-leaning area,” Cohen said, “but…his opponent for the governor’s office also comes from Northeast Ohio, and it’s a way for Kasich to get some visibility.”

Kasich has dropped some hints of what he’ll talk about, including giving Ohioan’s another income tax cut and expanding vocational education programs to include students in the 7th and 8th grades. 

The governor’s Democratic challenger from Northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, was looking for some visibility of his own over the weekend. He’s paid visits to Medina, Cleveland, Hannibal and other cities.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported FitzGerald would speak in Youngstown. In fact, his running mate Sharen Neuhardt was scheduled to campaign there.

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