Governor John Kasich is being dubbed by some statehouse insiders these days as “John Who?” even though he still has two years left in his term. But with the supersized clout Majority Caucus Republicans will have next year in the House and Senate, Kasich’s last biennial budget could be dead on arrival, and any bills sent to him that he chooses to veto can be easily over ridden if Republican will is strong enough.

Now that Mr. Kasich’s second try for the White House this year turned out to be a much longer version of his short-lived first try in 2000, the governor who commandeered the state party by installing his own man there, then lined up virtually every other Republican office holder behind his push for the presidency with the exception of State Treasurer Josh Mandel, will be a lot less powerful in his remaining two years than he has been during his previous six years.

As John Kasich looks to his future, the only position that makes sense for him to go after is to strong-arm his way into being the next president of The Ohio State University, an option many think he would gladly choose over having to compete again for a seat in Congress or returning to work on Wall Street or even joining the ranks of well-paid media talkers.

Date Line: Scoopsville

A couple of GOP sources with decades of close-in fighting experience spoke to this reporter on the condition of anonymity about who might be running for what state offices in 2018.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is well known for working not out of Columbus, where the Department of Insurance she runs is located, but from her home in Green in Summit County, where her use of a state plan to fly to Columbus and back for state business came under state auditor scrutiny.

Taylor’s perceived job performance on the job—strongly hinted at in the saga that involved two of her staffers working on partisan politics on the state clock—came to light from public records on  her key-card swipe use that showed over a nearly six-month period between Jan. 1st, 2014 and June 15, 2014, when Taylor used her access card on only four days to enter and exit state buildings in Downtown Columbus, as Plunderbund, which requested and received public records related to Taylor’s performance on the job, reported. All this could make her unappealing for the hard-working position of governor. In a three-person race for the top slot, CPA Taylor can expect her current boss to abandon her as he falls in line behind the party’s next pick for state chief executive.

The party’s probable nominee is already in sight and ready to roll, according to informed sources. Attorney General Mike DeWine will give it his all to achieve his political apotheosis as Governor of Ohio. Rising through the ranks of Ohio politics over the course of his long career, Mike DeWine is rich enough to carry a portion of the campaign finance load himself, much like Donald Trump did to a great extent this year on the national level. A former Lt. Governor and two-term U.S. Senator, Mike DeWine is already raising funds for the upcoming race and enjoys name recognition in the 90-percent range.

What could be the next big reveal is who DeWine’s running mate will be. A second source with close ties to GOP politics told this reporter that DeWine’s running mate will be none other than current Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. According to my source, the duo of DeWine-Rosenberger will be the ticket.

Secretary State Jon Husted is also interested in running for governor, but will be instead directed to apply for another statewide job post, possibly auditor. Ohio’s All-American record-keeper in chief who will have eight years of good PR to throw at voters as he bends to the party’s will to have Mike DeWine lead the ticket in 2018.

One answer to who wields Rosenberger’s House Speaker gavel when he joins Team DeWine may be a surprise for some. Expect Larry Householder, now back in the House again and a favorite of about 15 or so new GOP House Members, to return Mr. Householder to Speaker, a position he’s held once before.

Gov. Kasich’s short coattails may be too short for his chosen pick to run the state party, Matt Borges, to continue in that position. Although Borges says he has the votes to continue, the prospect of Jane Timken taking over, now that she’s the chosen one by Donald Trump to lead Ohio’s GOP, could prove to be too much for Borges, whose loyalty to Kasich, the man who gave him his job, showed just how compromised his support of Donald Trump was from start to finish.

 

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