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Kasich Brushes Off Hecklers, Heads for the Ice Cream At Ohio State Fair Kickoff

photo of Governor John Kasich

Thousands of people are pouring into the Ohio State Fair for opening day.

That included Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich had his own projects to show off during his annual tour of the fair.

Kicking off the Ohio State Fair was Gov. John Kasich’s first big event following the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. And although the convention is over, a single heckler tried to interrupt Kasich’s speech during the opening ceremony, calling him to endorse Donald Trump.

Kasich: “The cabinet has been just fantastic…”

Heckler: “Hey endorse Trump, Kasich!”

Kasich: “Somebody screamed but I didn’t hear him.”

Kasich went on to do his traditional tour of the fair which includes the 'Ag is Cool' art contest to get kids interested in agriculture and, of course, a stop at the ice cream shop.

And while Kasich usually travels around the fair to see what Ohioans have to offer, which he did, he also showed off what his administration is doing at the fairgrounds to get Ohio’s message out there.

That means job openings through Ohio Means Jobs, the workforce development vehicle.

“We’ve got 190,000 job openings that’s what we’ve got to tell them, you know you don’t have work, your kid doesn’t have work your uncle doesn’t have work come and check it out,” Kasich said.

All sorts of displays featuring Kasich’s administration can be spotted around the fair, from allowing people to add their opinions on Ohio’s tax system, to seeing if they have any unclaimed funds from the commerce department. 

But there was one issue that kept bothering Kasich, he wanted bigger signs.

“No, no we need to have a sign so people say I’m going to go in and check and see and they come in and you tell them, you’ve got to give them a reason to come here. Think about this ‘I’m gonna go to the fair and I think I wanna go look at the Ohio Department of Commerce booth’ ... I don’t think so. But if people say by the way the state might owe me money, I can go get money, like I can get a job or I can get help -- simple,” Kasich said.

In the past Kasich had challenged his family to a race down the big slide. So is he ready for a rematch?

John Kasich: “Nope not this year.”

Karen Kasich: “Come on John, you’re afraid I’ll beat you again. You’re afraid.”

John Kasich: “I’m not going to get hurt, you don’t know if they’re gonna call me up for the Olympics.”

At the end of the tour was a stop at one of Kasich’s favorite fair destinations, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Park. Kasich says before every show held at the park will be a message telling the fairgoers about two things; job opportunities and drug prevention.

“Please, please talk to your kids about not doing drugs we’re gonna have I don’t know what the weather’s going to be eight, 900,000 people here so it’s such a great opportunity to let people know what we have for them in a real way,” he said.

Kasich says that’s the point for all the exhibits and displays around the fair, to make sure people can have a good time but go home with more information than when they started.

The governor added that he plans to be popping in at the fair again, especially to try and catch the Dolly Parton concert.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.