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At Trump's Convention, Ohio Delegates Cast 66 Votes for Kasich

Matthew McAuliffe wears a Kasich hat during the Republican National Convention. (Nick Castele / ideastream)

by Nick Castele

Ohio’s delegates sat and clapped politely as leaders from state delegation after state delegation stepped to the nearest microphone and awarded votes to Donald Trump.

Last night in Cleveland, Donald Trump formally became the Republican nominee for president. But Trump won that title without a single vote from Ohio.

Trump supporters stood, cheered and waved signs. Ohio’s delegates may not have had much to celebrate, but they relished John Kasich’s vote totals, no matter how small.

A man sitting with Pennsylvania delegates wore a “Make America Great Again” hat. He turned to the Ohioans behind him and said, “I don’t know why you’re cheering, you’re losing like hell.”

That reality didn’t seem to visibly trouble Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges when it was the Buckeye State’s turn to announce pledged delegates.

“All right, guys, let’s give it an O-H!” Borges said.

“I-O,” Kasich’s delegates responded.

“Ohio, the mother of presidents, proudly casts its 66 votes for Governor John Kasich!” Borges said.

As Ohioans cheered for their governor, members of the Pennsylvania delegation asked, “Where is he?”

While some Ohio delegates say they’ll vote for Trump, others are holding out.

Pat McDonald, a Kasich delegate from Cuyahoga County, said Trump hasn’t earned his vote yet. He says he wants to leave the convention supporting Trump...

“Right now, I am just pro John Kasich,” McDonald said, “and just sad that I’m here in Cleveland, Ohio, not celebrating John Kasich for president.”

He said he’d like to see the Republican nominee welcome former opponents like Kasich rather than attack them. McDonald said he’s not sold on parts of Trump’s platform.

“The wall, you know, I mean, that’s ridiculous, that we’re going to deport people and build this big wall and maintain this wall,” McDonald said. “I just don’t think he has a common-sense approach, or thorough understanding, of foreign policy.”

With states still voting, many Ohio delegates left the floor.

Later, Matthew McAuliffe of Columbus joined other convention-goers on the outdoor patio. He worked for the late Sen. George Voinovich, and said  he was proud to cast a vote for Kasich. But for McAuliffe, Trump is a different kind of candidate.

“Clearly his campaign and his staff have engaged in 144-character insults for the past nine months, and that isn’t a campaign,” McAuliffe said. “If that stops, and they put forward serious, conservative proposals that lift people up, and build, and expand this party, then hey, he has me. But I haven’t seen that yet.”

Trump is scheduled to accept his nomination Thursday night. Meanwhile, there are Republicans in Ohio still coming to terms with his candidacy.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.