MARQUETTE — “Every vote counts…” That’s why one Presidential candidate visited Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Saturday. Governor John Kasich is hitting the trail harder than ever now that he is one of the final four Republican candidates. With a town hall stage to himself, he was ready and able to talk important issues. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac was there and she brings us the story from Marquette.
Gov. Kasich greeted the crowd, “Thank you for coming out. Now I am not a panderer… I am so excited that I came to the U.P.”
While his rivals were at the Kansas primary on Saturday, Ohio Governor John Kasich was in Michigan. While the debate stage may be full, this time he had the stage all to himself, in a town hall in Marquette. He started off talking about his experience, something voters have heard before, and how he wants to give more power to the state and local leaders.
“So I believe that jobs are most critical, and balancing the budget takes will,” Kasich added, “it take stepping on toes and being able to remember that we’re in this to raise everybody… and we got to cut taxes, because we have to run America from the bottom up, give you more power.”
The Governor’s talking points usually revolve around economic growth, which is important, however at the town hall he was really able to expand the conversation, and talk about issues like Veterans affairs, social security and education, just to name a few. During the Town Hall a local teacher asked what education would look like under a Kasich Presidency.
Hancock Middle School Teacher Matt Dennis says, “It was good, because now I have an answer to those who are definitely going to ask me, ‘What about charter schools? What about people leaving our school?’ I’m happy with his answer, and I’m please I got to ask it.”
In a pre–town hall interview with ABC 10, Kasich said he feels very confident in competing in Michigan and could win over the crossover voters, something a local supporter agrees with.
“That’s what has concerned the Democrats about me,” Kasich added, “They’re concerned that I can win those crossover Democrats and those independents. I did it in Ohio. Ohio and Michigan are two different sides of the same coin so I would compete here very aggressively.”
Alger County Sheriff Robert Hughes says, “You know I’ve been following him and his campaign, and I have followed that a lot of Democrats follow him, and they like his Conservative values and that they do want him as our president.”
Young voters were also in attendance, and got to see a different side of the Ohio Governor.
Young Republican Jake Putala says, “During elections it’s always about the policy and the candidates, but he really stepped aside today and talked about family, and your parents and respecting them, and how family is so important to society. I really think that hit home with a lo of people here.”
The candidate also talked about ways he would like to help Veterans.
“If you drive a truck in Afghanistan, I think you could probably drive one in Michigan – I know we have problems with the roads – but I still can tell you, we should just give them the CDL,” the candidate said during the town hall, “we won’t make them go take a test. If you’re an EMT Iraq, I’m going to make you take a test to be an EMT in the U.P.? Forget it, we’re going to give you what you want… This is not complicated. There should be no combat Veteran that should be homeless and unemployed in America. That’s just a sin.”
The Republican candidate says he feels very confident that he will also win over his home state of Ohio, a state that no Presidential Candidate has been able to win an election without.
Michigan voters will take to the polls on Tuesday.