Kasich to take speech on the road

By Marc Kovac



Gov. John Kasich will take his State of the State speech on the road yet again this year, heading next month to Medina for the annual address to lawmakers.

It’s the third-consecutive year the governor has opted to offer the comments outside of the Statehouse.

The event will take place the evening of Feb. 24 at the Medina Performing Arts Center.

The community of 25,000-plus people, is located about two hours northeast of Columbus but is in the backyard of Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive and endorsed Democratic candidate for governor.

It’s also the hometown of House Speaker Bill Batchelder, who is completing his final term in the chamber, capping a legislative career that started in the late 1960s.

“Medina is one of Ohio’s great communities and this is a great way to celebrate it,” Rob Nichols, spokesman for the governor, said in a released statement. “Medina is also the hometown of Speaker Batchelder and as he starts the last year of his term this is a way to recognize his distinguished 46-year career in public service.”

Kasich will submit a letter to the legislature requesting the joint session in Medina. The GOP-controlled chambers will have to give their permission to take the talk on the road.

Two years ago, Kasich broke with tradition and gave his State of the State speech in Steubenville in eastern Ohio. Last year, he offered comments in Lima in west-central Ohio.

At least one state lawmaker continues to voice his frustration with the move.

State Rep. Ronald Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, has introduced legislation to require the annual address to be offered in Columbus, either in person or broadcast for members to see.

“It’s wrong, it shouldn’t be done,” Gerberry said of Kasich’s decision to give the speech outside the Statehouse. “The governor hasn’t taken my advice. ... I think he has disrupted something. From a historical perspective, [that] is really sad.”

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