Ohio Gov. John Kasich may be planning to head from the Oval of his alma mater to the Oval Office of the White House.
Kasich is expected to announce his presidential bid July 21 at the Ohio Union, according to reports citing advisers on the governor’s campaign.
Johnkasich.com, which launched Sunday and states it is paid for by Kasich for America, advertises “a special announcement event” in Columbus and links to a ticket ordering page confirming an event scheduled at the Ohio Union from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
An Ohio State spokesperson declined to comment on Kasich’s visit.
If Kasich announces his bid, he will join more than a dozen other Republican candidates already vying for the party’s nomination across the country.
Kasich briefly ran for president in 1999 but dropped out due to low fundraising support. He was elected to Congress in 1982, representing Ohio’s 12th district. He served as House Budget Committee chairman from 1995 until he left the House in 2001.
He was elected governor of Ohio in 2010 over incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland.
Kasich, 63, graduated from OSU in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
David Stanislav, president of the College Republicans and a third-year in chemical engineering, said he’s honored that Kasich would make what appears to be an important announcement at OSU.
“I think it’s very cool that an alumnus of the university is potentially running for president,” he said. “I think it would be outstanding to have a Buckeye, for the first time, in the White House.”
Michael Lakomy, president of the College Democrats and a third-year in accounting, said he thinks the event will serve as an opportunity for Kasich to use OSU as a backdrop and expects Kasich to praise the university.
But Lakomy said he doesn’t think Kasich’s stance on issues as governor aligns with students’ interests, including higher education funding, job creation, marijuana legalization and marriage equality, and that he will fail to gain the support of young adults on campus.
“I don’t think it will work. I don’t think people will take it too seriously,” he said. “The issue I have in this case is that he’s having a rally on our campus, but he hasn’t listened to our voices up until now.”
Lakomy also said he felt Kasich should be concentrating more on state issues, rather than traveling and fundraising for an upcoming campaign.
Stanislav said he thinks Kasich’s experience in state economic reform is a strong point for the governor, adding that he’s excited to hear more about Kasich’s long-term vision for the country.
“He has a lot of strong leadership qualities, and I think his strong set of convictions will lead him pretty far in this process, if he does end up announcing that he is running for president,” he said.