Kasich plans to announce GOP 2016 presidential bid July 21

Governor John Kasich Sets Up Committee That Could Point Toward 2016 Bid

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who's spent the year testing his scrappy political style and pragmatic policy positions around the country, plans to formally enter the 2016 presidential race July 21.

The two-term governor, who leads one of the nation's premier swing states, is expected to formally join the crowded Republican primary field at an announcement set for Ohio State University, according to senior advisers.

The advisers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss Kasich's plans.

Kasich, 63, would join a GOP field that already includes more than a dozen high-profile candidates. He isn't as well-known as some of his likely Republican competitors, but he has been involved in national politics for more than three decades. He previously served in Congress for 18 years.

No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio, and in 2016 the state holds extra weight as Cleveland plays host to the National Republican Convention.

See photos of Gov. John Kasich's time in office:

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Kasich plans to announce GOP 2016 presidential bid July 21
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)
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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It would be Kasich's second bid for the nation's top job. He briefly sought the 2000 nomination before George W. Bush emerged as a Republican favorite. That earlier bid came after Kasich led efforts to balance the federal budget in 1997.

It's unclear if Kasich's late entry into the 2016 contest would complicate his participation in the first Republican debate, which is in Cleveland in August. Only announced candidates will be invited. Beyond the timing, only those candidates who rank in the top 10 in national polling would be allowed on the debate stage and, as it currently stands, Kasich does not.

Since January, he's been traveling the country in a nationwide effort to line up necessary support to call for a federal balanced budget amendment, which he views as an extension of his efforts nearly two decades ago.

His recent travels have also included political trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, New York and Michigan, trips that gave him an opportunity to test his scrappy political style and his track record as governor on a broader audience. The trips have also included meetings with potential political donors.

Kasich is considered more moderate than some of his Republican rivals

He also is known for going off script and for pulling no punches about political positions he sees as practical though they might anger fellow Republicans. Kasich advocated income-tax cuts and expanded Medicaid under the federal health care law and has taken on oil-and-gas producers while supporting Common Core education standards.

With the selection of Ohio State as the venue for his announcement, Kasich returns to his roots. It was there that the native of blue-collar McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, honed his political skills as a young college Republican. The event is expected to be held at the student union.

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