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Kasich Returns To Familiar Territory For State Of The State


Ohio Governor John Kasich is set to deliver his  State of the State speech in Wilmington on Tuesday. Wilmington is an area Kasich has focused on in recent campaigns.  Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Back in 2010, the small Clinton County town of Wilmington was hurting.  One of its biggest employers, DHL, a major shipping company, had closed its operation, leaving about 10,000 people without jobs. And that’s substantial when you consider the population of Wilmington proper was around 12,000 at that time. It’s something Governor Kasich highlighted in his first campaign for Governor.

Ad “What we see here at DHL really we see all over Ohio. We have lost 400,000 jobs.  It’s not a statistic. It’s people.” (fade under)

Even after he was elected the first time, Kasich continued to use Wilmington as an example of what needed to be fixed in Ohio. He held news conferences there to talk about new jobs that have since materialized.  And in the 2014 election, his campaign made another ad with a former DHL worker named Johnny.

Johnny “Governor Kasich has provided the leadership to create this facility which enables us to provide more jobs.  Wilmington is coming back. More jobs are being created. Unemployment has been cut in half. For the people who work here, this job is a ray of hope.”

And that’s the story Ohioans are likely to hear when Kasich delivers this year’s State of the State speech from Wilmington. Mayor Randy Riley is excited about it.

Riley “For one day, the city of Wilmington and Clinton County will be the center of government for all of the state of Ohio.”

Riley says this will give Wilmington the chance to shine.

Riley “It will give us the opportunity, Jo, to show off Wilmington, not just to the Governor, obviously he’s been here before, but to show it off to Senators and State Representatives and the state, the entire state, people who have never been here before. And quite frankly, I think we have reasons to brag.”

Riley says back in 2008 and 2009, Wilmington was the poster child for the economic recession. And while Riley gives Kasich some credit for helping to turn Wilmington around, he also heaps much of the credit on the people who live there.

Riley “I think we are an independent bunch. And we decided that we are going to take care of ourselves and we are going to start recruiting businesses. And we are going to basically take care of ourselves. And we have done a good job. And I believe that, I believe that, Jo, has sort of inspired the Governor. He uses us as sort of an example I hear in other areas. I’ve heard it said that Governor Kasich has said if we can help Wilmington, if we can turn around Wilmington, we can turn around the whole state. And a lot of the things that he has done as Governor in the past four years has done that….with lessening taxes, making Ohio a more business friendly environment.”

And that’s what Kasich is likely to talk about when he addresses Ohioans, praising the hard work the local community has put into redevelopment of the air park that once housed DHL. And Kasich will likely point out the state has put dollars into that investment too. Beyond that, Kasich is inclined to talk about parts of his proposed budget that he thinks will further spur development in the state. That includes nearly wiping out the income tax for most of Ohio’s small businesses and providing another round of income tax breaks. But Democrats are likely to point out those breaks come with a price, including sales tax increases that disproportionately affect lower and middle class Ohioans. Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni says these proposed tax reforms actually hurt them.

Schiavoni “They’re getting a few bucks back in their state tax but they are paying out more in other places.”

The Democrats often cite studies that show small business tax cuts do little or nothing to spur development because they don’t translate into job creation.

The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.
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