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Governor Kasich's Back

For the first time since halting his presidential campaign last month, Gov. John Kasich spoke to Statehouse reporters after a bill signing at a state park near Columbus.

Since Kasich suspended his run for president, he’s maintained a fairly low profile, appearing publicly at the Statehouse only for a ceremony honoring Holocaust victims, survivors and rescuers. And he’s signed some bills, but mostly in private. But there was a crowd of onlookers as he signed a bill at Alum Creek State Park. Kasich joked with lawmakers and administrators, including Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer, who were on hand for the bill signing.

“It will, at some point, rain but Jim, I hope not this weekend because I’ve got golf plans.”

Kasich made some of his off the cuff remarks that raised eyebrows.

“If you see something that drives you crazy, call me. No I’m serious. I’m easy to get a hold of.”

And Kasich appeared jovial as he kibitzed with those who gathered to watch him sign the bill.

Kasich “Sign this lady up. She’s a go getter. I can just tell.

Lady “I’d be honored.”

Kasich “ok, here, pen.”

Kasich Looking at child near him “Who are you?”

Child inaudible

Kasich “And how old are you?

Child “Thirteen”

Kasich “And what grade are you going to be in next year?”

Child “Eighth”

Kasich “You know what? I didn’t dot the “I” very good here so we will have to do that so do a little better job over here, would you?”

Kasich answered questions from Statehouse reporters after the event. And when a reporter asked about Donald Trump’s recent comments on the mass shooting in Orlando, Kasich said he’s not going to critique the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“I’ve never favored a Muslim ban. I don’t believe we should have a religious ban whether it’s on Muslims, Hindus, Catholics or anybody else. I’m not here to talk about Donald Trump today.”

Kasich, wearing a cotton dress shirt with no tie and no jacket, appeared relaxed at the event. It’s the same demeanor that was evident last summer, around this time, before he began his presidential bid. 

Contact Jo Ingles at