The pair made their first appearance at Diner 23 in Waverly where Taylor opened the meeting.
"We all agree Ohio's a mess," Taylor said. "We've lost 400,000 jobs in the last three years and we cannot stay on this current path. We need real leadership in Ohio, and leadership that comes from a person like John Kasich — a man who has a record of balancing a budget in Congress — the first time the budget had been balanced in D.C. since man walked on the moon, then cut taxes on risk-taking and investment, which spurred the economy. That's the kind of leadership we need in Ohio."
Kasich told those people in the Diner — "This is my chance to take the skills that I have and do something for Ohio like Ohio has done for me."
The Portsmouth Daily Times asked Kasich what his thoughts are on the USEC plant at Piketon.
"We're going down there right now to meet with the union, and see what we can do to be helpful there," Kasich said. "It's another asset we have down here. I think the one thing we understand, is that can be a big lift to us but we also want to build a portfolio of businesses, because what you see is that you depend on one thing, and then that doesn't work out, and then you've got all your eggs in one basket. So that's not enough to just say we got this done, we can relax, because the poverty is deep, and it needs to be attacked on a widespread basis."
Kasich said he plans to have "business friendly" people working in the state government, and to come to southern Ohio and meet with the people here, to assess and leverage the area's assets for better use.
How can the state help small businesses?
"The biggest thing we can do with small businesses is stop taxing them to death. We are not a state that is business friendly. We're not a state that encourages small business," Kasich said. "Our taxes are so high. Our regulations are punitive, our Workers Comp...we're a state that from year to year that businesses don't know what their costs are going to be."
Kasich alluded to a recent Dateline NBC feature on poverty in southern Ohio, and pledged to return to southern Ohio often to find out what needs to be done to change the joblessness condition.
"You cannot watch that Dateline story without — number one — recognizing the efforts of people who are helping people who don't have much. And number two — you cannot look at the faces of those children, without saying to the good Lord, 'help us fix these problems.' Humans can take it so far, but we need to get a little blessing down here in this part of Ohio. But God helps those also that help themselves. And we have become a region where it doesn't make sense to create a job. We can't make profits. If you can't make profits, then you can't have a business. And if you don't have a business, you can put somebody to work. And if you don't put them to work, you don't strengthen the family. And if you don't strengthen the family, the kids pay more than anybody else."
Kasich told those in attendance if he is elected he will assemble a team that will be in communication with the people of southern Ohio.
"We need to do some things to make this place climb out of this poverty we see down here," Kasich said. "We're going to be dedicated to it."
Kasich again met with party faithful at the River Inn in downtown Portsmouth, and talked about the jobless rate in the area, making reference to the latest figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that show Scioto County with a 13.4 percent unemployment rate.
"That is way above the national average," Kasich said. "It's one of the hardest hit parts of our state. And in addition to that the 13.4 percent is just what we count. We don't even know how many people have given up the chance to find something. So unemployment is much higher than even 13.4 percent."
Kasich also talked about the importance of bringing broadband technology to southern Ohio to give students a hand up on educational growth.
"Right here in this room in this community we're doing a little better. But it is absolutely critical that we focus the best minds that we have in this state on making the southern part of Ohio a more prosperous place," Kasich said. "And bring our best and brightest here to use our resources, and to use our greatest asset we have — the people — and begin putting people to work and creating opportunity and creating entrepreneurship. That is our most important job."
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101 Ext. 232 or email@example.com