SALEM - Gov. John Kasich delivered a message of "jobs, jobs, jobs" during a private fundraising event at the home of Bob and Linda Sebo on Quaker Lane in Salem Tuesday night.
The Republican running for re-election to a second term this fall engaged attendees in spirited conversation as he made his way around the main room filled with many GOP faithful from the area, elected officials, candidates and contributors.
Members of the 150-plus crowd included former Ohio State football coaches Earle Bruce and Jim Tressel, who's now the president of Youngstown State University, and Kent State University's new president Beverly Warren.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich poses with Salem resident Bob Sebo during a private fundraiser held Tuesday for his re-election campaign hosted by Bob and Linda Sebo and the Columbiana County Republican Party at the Sebo home on Quaker Lane. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)
"We have a governor that is doing the right thing. His interests are in the best interest of everybody in the state of Ohio. His record proves that out," Bob Sebo said.
The Sebos hosted the fundraiser in conjunction with the Columbiana County Republican Party, along with a host committee. Party Chairman David Johnson said a cross-section of party members were invited, with the cost starting at $100 a person and going up from there.
Johnson has led the county party for several years and dealt with several governors, but said the Kasich administration has been more accessible and responsive than any other administration he can recall in that time.
"He has literally been a phone call away," Johnson said.
In a brief interview, Kasich said jobs are what it's all about. The number of jobs has increased and the state budget is now balanced and running at a surplus.
"Keeping a balanced budget and cutting taxes sends a message - a message of strength, of stability," he said.
He explained that companies aren't going to expand or relocate to Ohio without that and now Ohio's heading in the right direction. He also said the state's not leaving people who live in the shadows in the shadows, referring to people with mental illness or physical disabilities or those who need help.
"We're not going to turn our backs on people," he said, describing the approach as a 360-degree deal for everybody.
When asked about cuts to state funds that local governments rely upon, like the Local Government Fund, he said according to what municipalities report to the state about their finances, 97 percent of them are running surpluses larger than the state's surplus by percentage.
"Every bit of government has to become more efficient," Kasich said.
He talked about how school districts are sharing more services and said everybody needs to think differently.
"We've got to train our students for jobs that exist," he said.
Overall, he said everything is designed to lift the state, adding "in Ohio, the sun has come up."
Johnson said the governor is constantly talking about jobs and creating an environment where people will invest in jobs and retain jobs. He touched on the oil and gas industry and the effect on Columbiana County, noting that billions of dollars have been invested here.
According to Johnson, that wouldn't have happened with someone else as governor.