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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

ColumnsElephant in the Room

The case for Kasich

To my fellow Republicans: Meet John Kasich. He is a swing-state governor with 18 years of experience on the House Armed Services Committee as well as six years as the chairman of the House Budget Committee. He is a compassionate and no-nonsense conservative who brings an optimistic vision to the Republican Party. And — you should really like this — Kasich is the only Republican who consistently defeats Hillary Clinton in head-to-head matchups. Yet he is trailing both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination. So I ask, why?

In a perfect world, Kasich would easily be the front-runner. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where Donald Trump can say “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose voters” and still win primaries across the country. We live in a world where Ted Cruz, who is the second most–partisan senator in the country — only behind Bernie Sanders — is seen as the conservative establishment’s best hope to beat Trump. We live in a world far from perfect.

I started supporting Kasich on Jan. 23. After months of going back and forth, jumping around from candidate to candidate, I decided on that day that Kasich was the candidate we need, not only for the Republican Party, but also for the country. My path to Kasich was an odd one. From Paul Ryan, until he said no, to Scott Walker to Carly Fiorina to Jeb Bush before settling on hope that Mitt Romney would run a third time, I was not a Kasich fan from the beginning. I thought he had no chance. Nothing dramatic happened on that Saturday in January, but I made up my mind. Kasich was and still is the only person qualified for the presidency.

Kasich is reasonable, optimistic, experienced and best of all, compassionate. He appeals to independents and even to liberals. We need a president who can unite us, not divide us as Trump, Cruz, Clinton and Sanders will do. Kasich’s unconventional path to victory at this point would require a contested convention. We’ve had contested conventions in the past, and our republic has survived. We can have one again. For the sake of the Republican Party and our nation, let’s choose the candidate who can win and lead this country forward. Let’s choose Kasich.

Kyle Stewart can be reached at kstewart1@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @KyleStew107