Ohio Gov. Kasich is 16th notable entry into GOP race

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Ohio Governor John Kasich Joins Presidential Race

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Saying "big ideas change the world," Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination Tuesday and set about trying to distinguish himself in a bustling contest with other high achievers.

Kasich, 63, launched his campaign at Ohio State University before a crowd of 2,000 at an event marking the entry of a strong-willed and sometimes abrasive governor in a nomination race now with 16 notable Republicans.

"I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president," Kasich said in a scattered speech packed with family anecdotes, historical references and a pitch for his well-rounded resume.

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Ohio Gov. Kasich is 16th notable entry into GOP race
Ohio Gov. John Kasich announces he is running for the 2016 Republican party’s nomination for president during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich, a two-term governor and former congressman, has little name recognition in the crowded GOP field, but he is already airing television ads in New Hampshire where he is heading immediately after making his run official. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich announces he is running for the 2016 Republican party’s nomination for president during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich, 63, launched his campaign before a crowd of 2,000 at an event marking the entry of a strong-willed and sometimes abrasive governor in a nomination race now with 16 notable Republicans. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Supporters wait for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to announce he is running for the 2016 Republican party’s nomination for president during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich, a two-term governor and former congressman, has little name recognition in the crowded GOP field, but he is already airing television ads in New Hampshire where he is heading immediately after making his run official. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich gives Joshua Bowman a hug after hearing about his troubles about during a visit at RP Abrasives, Monday, July 13, 2015, in Rochester, N.H. Kasich is considering joining the crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president. Joe Shean is at left. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at an event at the Clark County Republican Party office Thursday, June 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. Kasich, a two-term Ohio governor and former member of the U.S. House, is considering running for the Republican nomination for president. (AP Photo/John Locher)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America held the annual event to discuss politics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 13, 2015, file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich talks with Joshua Bowman, right, and Joe Shean during a visit at RP Abrasives in Rochester, N.H. Kasich is declaring his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on July 21. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich presents Ohio's 2016-2017 operating budget after signing it Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich said the $71.2 billion, 2-year state budget he signed helps people without getting "loose" with the spending. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America held the annual event to discuss politics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 19- Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalitions Road to Majority conference which featured speeches by conservative politicians at the Washington D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel, June 19, 2015.(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
NASHUA, NH - APRIL 18: Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit April 18, 2015 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Summit brought together local and national Republicans and was attended by all the Republicans candidates as well as those eyeing a run for the nomination. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 03: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) talks with the press after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (2nd L) waves alongside Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman (L) and Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) during a campaign stop at Tom's Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio, on August 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio speaks at the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, August 28, 2012. (Harry Walker/MCT via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) – Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) left, and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington D.C., Sunday, June 3, 2012. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 31: At the ornate Ohio State House, Ohio Governor John Kasich signs the newly passed Senate Bill 5, which limits collective bargaining for state workers in Ohio, in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Newly elected republican Ohio Governor John Kasich is working toward to balancing an Ohio budget in deficit through a budget proposal with extensive budget cuts, spending reform, and changes in labor laws, including restrictions on collective bargaining. (Photo by Melina Mara/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich talks to reporters after meeting with House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio), right, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, and other GOP Governors-elect at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, December 1, 2010. (Photo by Mary F. Calvert/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
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A veteran congressman as well as governor, Kasich is telling voters he is the only GOP candidate with experience in three broad areas of political leadership - the federal budget, national security and state government. As well, he spent nearly a decade at Lehman Brothers.

"I have the experience and the testing," he said, "the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world and I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States."

As budget chairman in the House, he became an architect of a deal in 1997 that balanced the federal budget.

Now in his second term in swing-state Ohio, he's helped erase a budget deficit projected at nearly $8 billion when he entered office, boost Ohio's rainy-day fund to a historic high and seen private-sector employment rebound to its post-recession level.

This, through budget cutting, privatization of parts of Ohio's government and other, often business-style innovations.

Unions that turned back an effort by Kasich and fellow Republicans to limit public workers' collective bargaining rights say Kasich's successes have come at a cost to local governments and schools, and that new Ohio jobs lack the pay and benefits of the ones they replaced. They plan a protest outside Tuesday's launch.

Kasich embraces conservative ideals but bucks his party on occasion and disdains the Republican sport of bashing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

His entry nearly rounds out an unusually diverse Republican lineup with two Hispanics, an African-American, one woman and several younger candidates alongside older white men. So many are running that it's unclear Kasich will qualify for the GOP's first debate in his home state in just two weeks.

In recent months, he's made trips to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, New York and Michigan, and will be returning to early voting states. His allies at the political organization New Day for America reported raising $11.5 million on Kasich's behalf before his entry into the race.

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