Ohio's Gov. John Kasich is a hawk who served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before, at the urging of Republican party leaders, he ran for the office of governor in Ohio. He was re-elected to a second term in 2014 in a landslide vote, winning with a lead of 30 percentage points.
Although he was a member of the House Armed Services Committee for 18 years, he was able to get on board with President Bill Clinton's 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (which expired in 2004). He was also the ranking member and chairman of the House Budget Committee for six years. The fiscally conservative Kasich proposed $90 billion in spending cuts coming from foreign aid, federal layoffs and reduced Medicare for seniors who earn more than $75,000 per year. The plan was narrowly defeated 219 to 213 in the House.
Kasich is a good old boy in the grand old party, but his willingness to ire the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) shows the man has enough character to stand up for what he believes in.
He's a centrist on religious freedom and gay marriage, saying, "Because somebody doesn't think the way I do doesn't mean that I can't care about them or can't love them." Although he describes himself as old-fashioned, he has said that "The court has ruled and it is time to move on."
With the recent proliferation of state-level discriminatory laws in the South (Mississippi and North Carolina) this matter will require immediate attention from the White House for the newly-elected president.
On the top issues in the 2016 debates, Kasich, the grandson of an immigrant, is the sole Republican candidate to be open to a path for immigrants to stay legally in the country. The other two remaining Republican candidates, Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Ted Cruz, are extremists on the important topic of immigration. For many, in this election, eliminating the terrifying candidates leaves only Gentleman John Kasich in the running.
He's on the ball, too, when it comes to protecting freedom. The man has a healthy opinion on domestic surveillance. "I think there's a balance between good intelligence and the need to protect Americans from what can become an aggressive government somewhere down the road," he said.
On climate change, Kasich is the only Republican candidate to acknowledge decades of science. Trump and Cruz deny man-made climate change exists. Although Kasich opposes government regulation, recognizing that there is room for improvement is a step in the right direction.
Lastly, he believes in the importance of the individual in representative government. As the Republican party struggles to find itself, Kasich is a man with his head on his shoulders and decades of experience that have led to a willingness to work with those on the other side of the political divide.
Vote for Kasich.