John Kasich (born May 13, 1952, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania) is a former U.S. Republican Representative turned television show host for FOX News Channel in the United States. He hosts Heartland with John Kasich, and also guest hosts The O'Reilly Factor, filling in for Bill O'Reilly when necessary. He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1974 with a B.A. in political science. He was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity.
After college, he served as a legislative aide to Ohio State Rep. Donald "Buz" Lukens. In 1978 he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982. He was reelected eight times, serving from 1983 to 2001. Kasich was always a spending hawk, taking aim at programs supported by Republicans and Democrats. In 1993, he became the Ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee where he authored an alternative to President Clinton's deficit reduction plan that relied on spending reductions rather than tax increases. Later that year, the Penny-Kasich Plan failed by only six votes to cut federal spending by an additional $90 billion on top of the deficit reduction forecasted by President Clinton.
After the 1994 Republican takeover in Congress, Kasich became Chairman of the House Budget Committee working towards the balanced budget, and served as chair of the congressional committee on welfare reform.
During the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Bob Dole seriously considered Kasich as a vice presidential running mate, but instead selected Jack Kemp, a former congressman and HUD Secretary. It is possible Kasich was dropped in response to rumors instigated by Kasich's Democratic opponent in his House race, Cynthia Ruccia, regarding Kasich's sexuality. Ruccia raised the question of the propriety of bachelor Kasich sharing a Washington townhouse with his male chief-of-staff. Kasich nonetheless won the 1996 election, and subsequently married in March of 1997.
He did not seek reelection for the House for the 2000 election, but instead explored a run for President. He withdrew early in July, 1999 and endorsed George W. Bush, the eventual Republican nominee and winner of the election.
He is managing director of the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers. Kasich is currently chairman of the New Century Project. A number of Republicans tried to recruit Kasich for Ohio Governor in 2006; however Kasich was not interested in the race.
Kasich's book, Courage is Contagious, was a New York Times bestseller. Kasich is of Croatian descent. Kasich was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and is now attending a non-denominational evangelical Christian Church with his family.