COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As news of Governor’s John Kasich’s decision to drop out of the presidential run came out, the lunch crowd at the Westerville Grill started talking politics.
Restaurant manager Suzanne Fickes says Kasich was just in her restaurant last week.
“He comes in here several times. We’ve had him with his bodyguards and when he was campaigning,” said Fickes. “I was actually sad because I was actually rooting for him, pulling for him of all the candidates. I was still hoping there would be that little bit of chance that he would pull through.”
Damon Zex is a regular at the restaurant. He says he has seen the Governor many times in the restaurant.
“I was actually a bit stunned, shocked. Of all of the candidates in this election, he really he comes off as a reasonable, levelheaded rational candidate,” explained Zex.
Zex says despite Ted Cruz dropping out of the presidential race Tuesday he thought Kasich would hang in there.
“Even though mathematically he has no chance of winning I would have stayed in the race because you don’t know what’s going to happen with Trump. It’s like a chess game. You don’t really know what could happen.”
The Ohio Republican Party was expected to attend Kasich’s press conference but wouldn’t speak ahead of time. The same was true for many Republican state senators and representatives.
Rep. Barbara Sears (R-District 47) said that as a supporter of Kasich and one of his delegates, she was disappointed that he would be ending his campaign.
“I think he’ll continue to play an active role in the campaign and in the process as we move forward,” Sears said. “I think he’s done a great job of elevating the conversation to something that is adult-like and meaningful and I think, in that sense, he’s played a very big part.”
With Kasich out of the race for the nomination, the question is whether the Republican party will be able to unite behind the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Sears said she believed they would.
“You just have to come together as a family,” Sears said. “We all have brothers, sisters and friends that we disagree with at some point in time and when you need to, you all rally around and agree, and that’s what we’ll do.”
“I think everybody knew he didn’t have much of a chance, especially with Ted Cruz, Donald Trump,” says Democrat Jordan Francis.
After a year on the campaign trail Ohio’s Democratic Party says it’s about time.
Kirstin Alvanitakis is the Communications Director for the Ohio Democratic Party.
“We’ve got a lot of problems that have been quite frankly neglected over the past year. It’s time for Kasich to get to work on those problems,” she says.
The Ohio Democratic Party is also calling for Kasich’s campaign to account for and pay back any taxpayer funds spent for security or any other campaign related expense.
Meanwhile, Duane Sykes says those same taxpayers will still welcome Kasich back.
“He should just come home and finish doing what he started here and know, be happy with that,” says Sykes. “At least he has a job.”
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