John Kasich didn't speak to younger brother with mental illness for 19 years

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John Kasich Didn't Speak To Younger Brother With Mental Illness For 19 Years

Mental illness is a subject that Ohio Gov. John Kasich frequently mentions on the GOP presidential campaign trail.

He knows it well. Out of the limelight is his brother, Richard, who has struggled for decades with bipolar disorder, and to whom John did not speak for 19 years.

Read: Arnold Schwarzenegger Endorses John Kasich For President

The two have reconciled, but they are not close, says Richard. "He doesn't have much to do with me, and I don't have much to say about him," he told The New York Times in his first extended interview with a reporter.

Image: Inside Edition

Richard, 59, lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and receives disability benefits. He has worked as a dishwasher at Wendy's and as a truck loader for the U.S. Postal Service.

The rift occurred in 1987 when their parents were killed by a drunken driver. Their will put John in charge of the sons' share of their estate, possibly because they were concerned about Richard's mental status.

John Kasich through his career:

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John Kasich through his career
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John Kasich didn't speak to younger brother with mental illness for 19 years
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John Kasich, governor of Ohio, speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. The Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center will include a 100,000 square foot medical mart and an adjoining convention center with 230,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. The facility is expected to open in September 2013. Photographer: David Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Richard challenged the will and gained his share, part of which he used to buy a house. John, he says, stopped speaking to him after he sued over the inheritance. John Kasich declined to be interviewed by The Times about his brother, the paper said.

"We love Rick deeply and have shared the struggles that his disease brings with it," the Kasich campaign said in a statement. "As families with a loved one living with mental illness know, you take it one day at a time and some days are better than others.

Read: John Kasich Defends Himself After He's Caught Eating Pizza With Fork and Knife

"In the process, we have all become sensitive to and supportive of the needs of hose living with this disease. Among the ways we support him is by working hard to protect his privacy, and we hope others respect that also."

John Kasich on the campaign trail:

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John Kasich on the campaign trail
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John Kasich didn't speak to younger brother with mental illness for 19 years
MILFORD, NH - SEPTEMBER 7: Republican presidential candidate John Kasich greets supporters at the Labor Day parade on September 7, 2015 in Milford, New Hampshire. Kasich, buoyed by what observers called a strong performance in the first GOP debate, has emerged as a first tier presidential candidate with voters in New Hampshire, the nation's first primary state. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
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Richard had a breakdown in 1975, he said, while attending Penn State. He had planned to become an attorney, but after that incident "I knew I was not going to be a lawyer anymore."

He became a born-again Christian, which he credits with helping him to feel stabilized. He currently takes Abilify, an antipsychotic drug used to treat a variety of disorders including schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome.

"I got saved," he said. "It seemed to help."

Watch: Donald Trump Announces New Nickname For John Kasich

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