As if the GOP presidential primary field isn’t getting crowded enough, another prominent Republican is said to be taking a step toward a possible run.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is poised to launch a national political committee, which would let him raise unlimited money and build Republican support nationwide, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported Thursday. The group is reportedly set to be announced in the coming days.
A group called New Day for America registered Tuesday with the Ohio secretary of state’s office. That’s a similar name to the one Kasich used for his inaugural committee when he became governor in 2011.
This weekend, Kasich is set to travel to New Hampshire and South Carolina, two states that are key to the early nominating process for the GOP. Kasich is also set to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
If he runs in 2016, Kasich, 62, could appeal to the more mainstream, business-minded Republican voters who carried Mitt Romney in 2012, and who Jeb Bush is wooing this time around. Kasich was one of the few Republican governors to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and he has avoided taking a hard line on immigration.
Kasich’s political success in the nation’s most pivotal swing state—he coasted to re-election last year—could also give him a strong electability argument. Cleveland will host the Republican National Convention next summer.
Not that Kasich is truly a moderate. After taking office in 2011, he backed a law that ended collective bargaining for public sector workers—a measure very similar to the one that provoked weeks of protests in Wisconsin. The law was repealed by ballot initiative later that year.
Other potential Republican candidates have created similar political groups. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker formed a 527 group, which is the type of organization Kasich is said to be favoring. Bush has created a Super PAC, Right to Rise.
In recent weeks, Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio have all formally announced their own bids for the GOP nomination.
This would be Kasich’s second run for the White House. He sought the GOP nomination as a congressman in 2000, but gained little traction.