What’s Next For Governor-Elect John Kasich?
COLUMBUS, Ohio—As the Republicans swept the statewide offices, Gov. Ted Strickland conceded the race to Republican former Congressman John Kasich. NBC 4 caught up with Governor-Elect Kasich’s team to learn what’s ahead for the office.
Kasich announced that his team will meet Wednesday with Governor Ted Strickland’s Chief of Staff John Haseley and Budget Director Pari Sabety to obtain the state’s most recent revenue and spending numbers.
Kasich said he intends to move fast and be ready to put together a biennial budge before the March 15 deadline.
He plans to restore the income tax cut that was suspended by Gov. Strickland, but did not offer details on when or how it would occur.
“We will be ready, without any question, to put together a comprehensive budget within the deadline. We are not running in circles or panicked here about any of this,“ Kasich said.
Kasich said he wants to have a serious conversation with the education community about unfunded mandates, the criticism he has of Gov. Strickland’s evidence-based education funding model.
Kasich said he will work to put dollars in the classroom, rather than in administration or “red tape.“
“I’m calling on them today to bring their best ideas to us in terms of how they can become more business-like, and nothing should be left off the table,“ he said. “We are going to get dollars in the classroom and we’re going to push shared services and make sure there’s no excuse for multiple school districts not being able to share administrators. There’s too many things going on out there that are not business-like and they’re not helping the teacher and they’re not helping the students.“
When discussing labor unions, Kasich said, “I’m concerned about the impact of binding arbitration on our cities…I never intend to be in a position of declaring an enemy. I am waiting for the teachers unions, however, to take out full-page ads in all the major newspapers apologizing for what they had to say about me during the campaign. But outside of that, we give everybody a chance.“
Kasich also addressed the controversial 3-C rail project that would have connected Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati with a high-speed rail.
“That train is dead. I said it during the campaign. It is dead. We are not going to have it,“ he said. “Passenger rail is not in Ohio’s future.“
Kasich did praise freight rail’s value for economic development, though.
When it comes to the Department of Development, Kasich said, “It’s complicated. We’re taking our time on it. I don’t have anything more to say at this point, but we do intend to move forward with Jobs Ohio.
“We’re going to get the jobs going in this state. We have to become competitive,“ Kasich said.
Kasich said he wants competitive taxes, streamlined regulations and added that he will aggressively talk with businesses inside and outside of Ohio.
The governor-elect also announced three senior staff positions Wednesday.
Kasich named Beth Hansen to be the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Governor, Wayne Struble to be Policy Director of the Office of the Governor, and Tim Keen to be Director of the Office of Budget and Management.
Hansen served as campaign manager for Kasich-Taylor for Ohio. Previously Hansen served as State Director to U.S. Senator George Voinovich for 11 years and worked in the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC. She’s also held leadership roles in political campaigns in Ohio and the Midwest. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Struble is a long-time Kasich advisor, having served as Staff Director for the U.S. House Budget Committee when Kasich was chairman. He previously served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Steve Austria and U.S. Rep. David Hobson. He has master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
Keen joins the Kasich-Taylor team from the Auditor of State’s Office, where he served as Senior Policy Advisor. He previously served as Director of the Office of Budget and Management under Gov. Bob Taft and in other senior budget policy positions in the Ohio Legislative Budget Office, the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. He has a master’s degree from Rutgers University.