Western New York supporters of Republican presidential candidate John Kasich met Wednesday night to begin organizing a grassroots campaign effort.
In a meeting room at the Leonard Post VFW in Cheektowaga, Kasich supporters expressed the reasons they support the Ohio governor for the White House. They are WNY for Kasich, a group of Western New Yorkers who want to see Kasich as President, but they are not affiliated with Kasich's campaign.
State Assemblyman Ray Walter (R-District 146) says he supports Kasich because Kasich has the three qualities Walter looks for in a candidate: experience, temperament and "electablity."
Walter cited the governor's experience as a member of the House of Representatives and as the governor of Ohio. He said Kasich's ability to balance the state's budget and appease Ohio residents should really speak to the people of Western New York.
"People of Ohio are very much like Western New Yorkers," Walter said. "Hard-working, blue collar people who have been down on their luck and are now really coming back under his leadership."
Walters also described Kasich's temperament as one that he looks for in a leader.
Kasich "Is the adult in the room who is level-headed," Walters said, "The guy that we can trust with the nuclear codes."
Attendees recognized that Kasich is far behind Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz when it comes to delegates, but they believe Kasich is the one out of the three remaining candidates who is most likely to win in a general election. So, Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick (R-District 4) says WNY for Kasich is making it their goal to get the governor to the Republican National Convention this summer.
"All we need for John Kasich to get there is for Donald Trump to not get to the 1237 (delegates)," said Hardwick.
Steven Whipple is the Chief of Staff for the Republican Caucus of the Erie County Legislature, and he is organizing the logistics for WNY for Kasich. He says that WNY for Kasich is currently looking for a space that will host their operation free-of-charge where volunteers can make phone calls and organize for meetings. They're also just trying to get the word out about Kasich.
"The main thing we're trying to do right now is let people know that Kasich has an operation here locally and we plan to do a lot of work," Whipple said.