Wednesday afternoon Ohio Gov. John Kasich suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for president.
“We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves,” Kasich told the country from a podium in Columbus, Ohio. “And I think we do it with honesty and integrity, and as a result I think I know, and I sure hope and pray that they feel this experience they’ve had in this campaign has improved and in some way changed their lives for the better,” he said of his staff.
“We never had all the money we wanted, we were probably outspent by 50 to 1, but we were never ever daunted in that,” he said.
Kasich doled out a plethora of thanks to his family, his campaign staff, supporters, volunteers, and donors. He recalled several states along the campaign trail from New Hampshire to California.
“As for my beloved Ohio, the people here, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity that you’ve given me to be a leader in this state.”
“Everywhere I went in America I told the people about our beautiful, beloved state and held Ohio high, and I think gave people an impression from one end of America to the other that Ohio is a special place and I expect we’re gonna have more visits as a result.”
“The people of our country changed me,” he said. “They changed me with the stories of their lives.” He recalled a hug in South Carolina from a despairing young man who then found hope as he hugged Kasich at a town hall event.
Kasich called his town hall events “absolutely magic.” He called for people to slow down their lives and “listen to those who are around us.” He spoke of helping others to rise and in doing so lifting oneself.
Throughout my campaign I have said, the Lord may have another purpose for me. And it set all the pundits a twitter — does that mean he’s not committed or he’s not focused or he’s not energetic? It showed to some degree how little they understand about life. Ya see, I have always said that the Lord has a purpose for me as He has for everyone and as I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life. Thank you and God bless.
Kasich is the last remaining Republican presidential candidate to leave the race and concede frontrunner Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee. The moderate Republican’s sole statewide win in the year of the populist candidates was in his home state of Ohio. Many called for him to leave the race, but he had vowed to remain in through to the Republican National convention.
Tuesday night Trump achieved a resounding win in Indiana’s primary election. Shortly after results were announced Trump’s closest competitor Sen. Ted Cruz gave his thanks to supporters, called for unity, and left the race.
About a week and a half before the Indiana primary the Cruz and Kasich campaigns each released statements that indicated they were dividing campaign efforts in three states. The idea was to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination and press forward to a contested convention. Cruz would focus on Indiana and Kasich would focus on Oregon and New Mexico. Each candidate would not campaign in the other’s states. Cruz confirmed that the campaigns had spoken about their decisions and agreed on their focus among the three states.
The Ohio governor posted to his website a campaign closing message to his supporters:
Together, we fought the good fight and did it the right way. Your devotion to our campaign based on our shared belief in solving our nation’s challenges by uniting people and lifting them up will forever remain in the hearts of my family and me. While our campaign is ending, our work is not over. We need to continue strengthening our families and our communities because that is how we strengthen our country.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana