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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Hillary Unites Borges, Portman and Trump; Kasich Explains his Stance

John Kasich Ohio breakfast
M.L. SCHULTZE
/
WKSU

 Clarification July 23, 2016: State Sen. Frank LaRose says he is not yet endorsing or certain he'll vote for Donald Trump because he has  differences with Trump's divisive statements. He says he hopes by the fall he'll have heard enough from Trump that he can support. 

There were signs this morning that the Ohio Republican Party is ready to unify around Donald Trump. But there’s one really big sign it isn’t.

WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on an unannounced visit by Gov. John Kasich to the Ohio delegation breakfast and on the messages that followed from Sen. Rob Portman and state GOP Chief Matt Borges

kasich_full_speech.mp3
Here's the complete speech by Gov. John Kasich this morning

Kasich on principles
Kasich acknowledged many in the delegation are wondering why he continues to withhold his endorsement of Donald Trump. And he acknowledged it’s made him unpopular among some Republicans.

But he says he’s doing what people say they want their elected leaders to do.

“We want politicians to stand on principle, and then whenever they do, if it’s not the principle we like, we’re not so much into them standing on principle. I can tell you that when you stand on principle, sometimes you’re all alone.”

Ted Cruz got booed off the convention stage last night after ending his speech without endorsing Trump. Kasich has stayed away from Quicken Loans Arena altogether. Kasich supporter and State Sen. Frank LaRose says, given his feelings, Kasich went the right way.

“I think it’s the classy thing to do, if you don’t have something nice to say about the nominee don’t show up on stage. So I think Gov. Kasich made the right call.” LaRose says he personally is considering backing his party’s nominee, but he's not there yet.

Portman all in for Trump
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman endorsed Donald Trump months ago, but he’s been pretty muted in his support. That changed this morning.

schultze_portman_embraces_trump.mp3
Portman tells the Ohio delegation President Trump will be good for the nation.

At a speech to the Ohio delegation breakfast at the Republican National Convention, Portman offered more full-throated support for Trump, and used his name more often than speakers at the rest of the week’s  breakfasts combined.

He says Republicans know how to fix the economy as evidenced by what’s happened in Ohio.

“That’s what needs to be done in Washington D.C. with the new president of the United States named Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, and with a Republican Senate that can work with them to restore that American Dream.”

Borges makes peace with Trump
And a truce has been called in the battle between Ohio’s Republican Party chairman and the Donald Trump campaign. 

schultze_ohio_trump_truce.mp3
Borges says the united fight turns now to Hillary Clinton

After most reporters had left the Ohio delegation breakfast this, Matt Borges told the delegates that Trump had called him last night. He said Trump agreed when he said the fight needs to be directed towards Hillary Clinton.

“So we’re going to move forward in that manner and I want everyone to go out there. Don’t hold back. Go out and support our entire ticket. We need to win this year and Ohio is going to be the key to that.”

The Trump campaign has been angry that John Kasich has refused to endorse Trump, saying Kasich is embarrassing his state.  

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.