Gov. John Kasich stops in Bowling Green for Wood County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner

Governor+John+Kasich+speaks+to+Leslie+Oestreich%2C+a+third+grade+teacher+in+Pemberville+at+his+campaign+stop+Thursday+evening.

Governor John Kasich speaks to Leslie Oestreich, a third grade teacher in Pemberville at his campaign stop Thursday evening.

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Gov. John Kasich touted his accomplishments of balancing an $8 billion deficit and lowering income taxes during his stop in Bowling Green on Thursday night, but admitted “there’s still a long way to go.”

“We’ve created 160,000 jobs … but we’re not out of the woods yet,” Kasich said before his speech at Stone Ridge Golf Club for the Wood County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner. “We lost 350,000 jobs when I came in, so we’re halfway there and it’s not good enough.”

Also in attendance was Sen. Randy Gardner, Rep. Bob Latta and State Rep. Tim Brown.

As his office is up for grabs in November, Kasich said his plan is to “shake things up,” a phrase he picked up from his mother as a child. Along with running mate Mary Taylor, Kasich will likely face Democrat Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and running mate Sharen Neuhardt.

“Sometimes in life you have to tell it like it is, and shake things up to get things to change,” he said to the crowd of roughly 200 people. “And that’s exactly what I did when I entered office.”

Kasich mentioned his “$9.5 billion turnaround in three years” on top of killing the death tax and pushing the need to create more jobs in the future.

“If a business doesn’t shake things up, it dies,” Kasich said. “When a government doesn’t shake things up, it gets old, it gets stale and taxes increase. This is a business about doing the right thing.”

The businesses doing the right thing by expanding in the region such as Rosenboom Machine & Tool Inc., Home Depot and Luibrizo by expanding was what Kasich said was pointing the state in the right direction.

Kasich also noted that a General Motors plant in Dayton was expected to create 800 jobs after a $200 million Chinese investment.

Industrial expansion can be a key for Kasich’s re-election, Latta said, who represents 721,000 people in his district with 60,000 manufacturing jobs alone.

“We have things here other people don’t— water, resources, a skilled workforce,” Latta said. “I hate when people say, ‘oh you’re from the Rust Belt.’ We make things here.”

Mayor Richard Edwards echoed this sentiment, noting how the region has developed from automobile manufacturing and the CSX facility in North Baltimore, Ohio.

“This area can no longer be taken for granted,” Edwards said,

Another topic Kasich focused on was bolstering vocational schooling.

“Everyone doesn’t have to go to a four-year school,” he said. “We need to bring vocational schooling back. Some people are born to make things and fix things.”

Brown said there has been an emphasis in funding for both vocational schools and four-year colleges given the surplus, just not enough seeing as the state is still recovering from the recession.

“Education is critical and we need to get students on the right track” instead of forcing everyone to go into four-year universities, he said.

Brown said as universities get their state funding from graduation rates, there will need to be a focus on “competing for the best and brightest students instead of seeing how many people they can funnel through the system.”