COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As Ohio Governor John Kasich term comes to an end, NBC4’s Colleen Marshall takes a look back at his time in office.
Long before he held the governor’s office, Kasich was inside the Ohio Statehouse. He won a state Senate seat at the age of 26, serving a 4-year term before beginning his career on Capitol Hill.
In 1982, Kasich won the 12th District congressional race and was elected to the seat eight more times. A fiscal conservative, Kasich became the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, and that’s where he made a name for himself working across the aisle with then-President Bill Clinton to get a balanced budget.
When he left Congress, Kasich went to Wall Street as a managing director for Lehman Brothers until 2010. That’s when he stepped back into the public arena and defeated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland to become the governor of Ohio, just as the nation was emerging from a crippling recession. Ohio was deeply in debt and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost.
But the early days of his administration were rocky and marred by a failed attempt to pass Senate Bill 5, an effort to repeal collective bargaining rights for public employees. Kasich’s support of the bill set up a contentious relationship between the governor and the public employees who worked for him.
Senate Bill 5 failed, but Kasich said he learned from it and moved on to some of his other big ideas for Ohio, like privatizing development and creating JobsOhio and his controversial education initiative, demanding ideas to shift dollars from administration to classrooms. But, the Kasich also cut funding to local schools and governments, angering many local leaders who complained that the cut in funding forced them to ask for tax hikes on the local level.
However, Kasich still stands by his economic policies, claiming that his policies created hundreds of thousands of jobs and diversified industries and services.