“We love being here,” said the governor Tuesday night from the Sandusky State Theatre.
“I had a beautiful afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club. They really laid out the red carpet,” the governor added.
Kasich also mentioned he “had some great fish right here in the city of Sandusky.”
With the city preparing to celebrate its bicentennial in 2018, Kasich said he hopes this experience will be “one more historical event” in its history.
A large flag of Ohio hung behind Kasich as he spoke from a wooden podium with the state seal.
“Anybody would say ‘wow’ about this state theater,” the governor said.
Larry Obhof, president of the Ohio Senate, thanked Sandusky “for your warm hospitality.” He opened the 132nd General Assembly after establishing there was a quorum of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Rabbi Samuel R. Weinstein, of the Temple Shomer Emunium in Sylvania, provided the invocation. He prayed that the state lawmakers would bring light to places of darkness and use wisdom, discernment and understanding in their “selfless service” in making their decisions.
Clifford A. Rosenberger, speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, expressed his gratitude to Sandusky and for “welcoming us here today.”
“Let’s hear it for the city of Sandusky,” he added, which prompted a round of applause.
Once the governor made his way to the stage, Rosenberger took a selfie with Kasich and Obhof, featuring the crowd in the background.
Kasich shared memories of coming to this area when he was a child.
“I have been in love with the North Coast and this part of the state for a long time,” he said.
Kasich traveled with his parents and uncle to Vermilion when he was a boy. The governor said upon arriving, his uncle would turn and “he’d say, ‘Johnny, we’ve reached the promised land.’”
“That’s what we thought of Ohio,” he added.
Kasich mentioned a $1 million grant that was announced Monday that will give Sandusky money to restore the wetlands in the Sandusky Bay.
Shortly after saying there are now “more than 46,000 new jobs in the state,” the governor mentioned Borgers Ohio, calling the Norwalk plant a $60 million “state of the art facility.” Kasich said Borgers has 230 employees and an $8 million payroll.
The governor said the Midwest is ripe for development and growth, stressing that Ohio “can’t slow down.”
“This is the 21st century. We have to keep our foot on the gas,” he added.
Kasich mentioned Milan when praising the innovations of its most well known son, Thomas Edison.
“Thomas Edison was our guy. He wasn’t just an outstanding inventor and creator. He took risks; he put everything on the line,” the governor said.
“If we aren’t prepared for change, we might find ourselves out of work. … We don't want to find ourselves behind the curve.”
As the governor arrived in Sandusky, he said he made sure to take a side route so he could see the roller coasters at Cedar Point.
“Probably even broke a law,” Kasich added.
As his nearly 90-minute speech wound down, the governor stressed the need for America and Ohio to find commonality and a “shared humanity” when addressing issues such as hunger, infant mortality, drug overdose-related deaths and paying attention to “our seniors.” Kasich said he is concerned about the “rising polarization” in a divided America and the inability of political parties to work together.
Kasich then returned to Cedar Point at the end of his State of the State address. He pushed for the Buckeye State to go higher, faster and to work together — “just like those roller coasters.”
“The machines work only if they work together. Ohio is the same,” the governor said.