Governor John Kasich (R-OH) was one of the last major candidates to announce a presidential run and on Thursday became the last to drop out, leaving only Donald Trump. Trump is now officially, by process of elimination, the presumptive nominee.
Kasich had originally continued to carry on after Indiana with several events scheduled. However, Kasich decided on a plane that he did not want to continue. The Ohio governor had the plane return taxi back and went to call his closest friends, alerting them of his decision. Sources say that the friends supported his decision and did not challenge it.
With that, the events were cancelled and word leaked to the press. Shortly after 5 PM ET, Kasich took the stage in Columbus, Ohio, to announce he was suspending his campaign. Columbus is also where the Republican convention will be held later this year.
Kasich, who often brought up his Christian faith on the stump and used it to justify policy positions, told the audience, “And as I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward, and fulfill the purpose of my life.”
Kasich dropped out one day after Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s strongest competitor, dropped out. Kasich was increasingly hoping to act as a spoiler, deny Trump the necessary 1,237 delegates and then win the nomination in Cleveland. Trump has still not hit the threshold.
Kasich’s original strategy was to have a victory in New Hampshire and then ride the wave of momentum. Instead, he placed second after Trump, but he did get a boost. However, the next states were not as favorable and he faded again. He won his home state of Ohio by double-digits on the same night Senator Marco Rubio lost his. Ohio would end up being Kasich’s only victory, although he had some close seconds and ties for delegates.
Kasich may not be gone from the national scene yet, though. He is often floated as a vice presidential pick.