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GOP Presidential Hopeful John Kasich Stops in Syracuse; Sanders and Trump Expected to Follow

Chris McGlynn

Hundreds of Central New Yorkers packed into Henninger Athletic Center at Le Moyne College Friday night to catch a glimpse of a Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich.  For some, it was a chance to find out a bit more about the Governor of Ohio.

“It will probably give me a new perspective into his policies and his ideals,” said college student Braden Lee before the event.

Kasich made his goals clear. He spoke at great length about balancing the federal budget, providing support for Ukraine and aiming for bipartisanship in D.C.  He says he's  prepared to fix the economy in three easy steps.

“You have to have common sense rules and regulations so you don't kill small business," he said. “You have to reduce taxes. And the reason why you have to cut taxes is because it sends a message.”

Kasich continued, “The third thing that you need is to have a path that represents fiscal discipline and fiscal common sense.”

While he offered his ideas on policy, he also gave a quick call to action for those in attendance.

“The spirit of our country, here in this great town of Syracuse, doesn’t rest in Washington,” Kasich said. “If you’ve got a problem with drugs, go fix it. Don’t wait for the president, the governor or some politician. Go fix it.”

Kasich stayed presidential for the most part throughout his speech, but he did take dig at his Republican opponents.   

“Maybe we could get to Hillary [Clinton] if we stopped name calling each other,” he said. “Stop wrestling in the mud and attacking each other’s families.”

Kasich made it clear what he thought of the kind of behavior he has observed between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

“I refuse to take the low road to the highest office in the land,” he said.

Local attendee Harold Schwartz was impressed by Kasich’s resume despite his current position in the polls.

He has proven solutions to important problems,”  Schwartz said. “I don’t know if he has much of a chance, but nevertheless, those are the facts. You can’t escape them.”

Donald Trump is expected to hold a rally Saturday, at a time and location to be determined.  Ted Cruz has not confirmed a visit to Syracuse.

The Bernie Sanders campaign has confirmed a stop in Syracuse Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Oncenter.

Hillary Clinton was the first presidential primary candidate to stop in Syracuse a week ago.  New York's primary is April 19th.

Credit Chris McGlynn / WAER News

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at