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Kasich taking State of the State to northeast Ohio

Kasich taking State of the State to northeast Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he'll deliver his annual State of the State speech in Medina.

"We try to go to communities that will be impactful where they can display their history and their strength," Kasich said.

The speech will be delivered on Feb. 24 during a joint session of the General Assembly at the Medina Performing Arts Center.

Medina is hometown of GOP House Speaker Bill Batchelder. Kasich's likely Democratic rival Ed FitzGerald, of Cleveland, oversees government in neighboring Cuyahoga County.

"It's also terrific that it's the home of the Speaker who has dedicated his entire life to public service and to Ohio so it's kind of a nice way to honor him at the same time," Kasich said.

It's the third time the Republican governor has moved the traditional joint legislative session outside of Columbus.

Kasich made history in 2012 when he moved the speech from Columbus to the eastern Ohio industrial city of Steubenville. That was a year after his first such speech, delivered at the Statehouse, was marred by labor-fueled protests.

He delivered last year's speech in Lima, in northwest Ohio.

"Steubenville felt right because of its size and the need to have some recognition in Ohio. Lima was terrific. They were so excited down there to kind of show off the city which was good," he said.

State Sen. Larry Obhoff, a Medina Republican, says he's happy to host the governor and the rest of the General Assembly.

"I think it's great, frankly, that the governor will be in Medina hearing from the people," he said.

State Rep. Ron Gerberry is again voicing opposition to moving the speech.

"The State of the State Address should be held in the Ohio House chamber," he said.

The Austintown Democrat says it's a tradition and it should be upheld. He wonders what reaction would be from Republicans if President Barack Obama were to move the State of the Union Address out of Washington.

"This is not about Republican John Kasich. It's about the office of governor asking the members of the General Assembly to move the State of the State. It's wrong," he said.

Gerberry said they were lucky no one was involved in a serious crash trying to return to Columbus after last year's address in Lima. The area was hit by cold temperatures and snow. It also meant a 5 hour drive for Gerberry, who is from northeastern Ohio.

"There's a reason why the State of the State is held in Columbus, it's because it's in the middle of the state," he said.

He plans on voting against moving the speech, but knows he'll be outnumbered.

 

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