Cruz, Kasich struggle to remain relevant in race

Ted Cruz Illustration

Michael Edwards / Clarion

Jacob Gretzlock, Staff Writer

The drama of the NCAA Basketball Tournament has nothing on the Republican race for presidential candidate.

In fact, the race for the Republican Party nominee has been so theatrical that it has caused a major riff in the party and may lead to a contested convention when the convention takes place July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Republican candidate needs to win 1,237 of the 2,472 total delegates in order to become the presumptive nominee. Donald Trump has won more than half the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination, but must increase his share of delegates from here on out to win the nomination outright.

Still, hanging in against the Trump machine is Ohio Governor John Kasich who declared his presidential run on July 15, 2015.

Kasich had a shaky start to his bid but is more recently picking up steam by winning his home state. Kasich has also contended that his campaign will make a significant turn while voting continues in the north.

According to his website,, Kasich is originally from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, “a blue-collar town outside Pittsburgh where his father delivered mail for 30 years.”

Before becoming governor, he served as chair of the Budget Committee in Congress, and also served 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee where he was a strong ally of President Reagan and his national security agenda. He has also had a successful career as an investment banker,

During the March 3 GOP debate, Kasich said he is “the adult” in the Republican race, and unlike the other candidates and has yet to revert to name calling.

After his recent victory in Ohio, Kasich went on the Today Show and said, “Neither Cruz nor Trump can win the general election…They can’t come into Ohio with the philosophy they have and win. You can’t win Ohio, you can’t be president.”

Kasich has made the focus of his campaign on defending the second amendment, repealing the Affordable Care Act, Fighting Taxpayer Funding for Planned Parenthood, national security and his experience in balancing budgets and creating jobs. Kasich takes credit for balancing Ohio’s budget for the last four years and for turning around Ohio’s large unemployment rate and debt. Under his leadership, Ohio went from having an $8 billion deficit to a $2 billion surplus, as well as created 350,000 jobs.

Also still in the race to out-trump Trump, is U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, was the first Republican to declare presidential candidacy on March 23, 2015.

In the Senate, Cruz serves on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on the Judiciary; the Joint Economic Committee; and the Committee on Rules and Administration. Before being elected, he was the Solicitor General of Texas, the State’s chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court.

And prior to becoming Solicitor General, he served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice and as Domestic Policy Advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.

Cruz is currently second in total delegates among the Republican candidates. Cruz is trailing Trump by 256 delegates, as of present. During GOP debates, Ted Cruz has had contentious exchanges with Trump.

Cruz is campaigning on a platform to uphold the U.S. Constitution, investigate and prosecute Planned Parenthood, repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obama care), strengthen border security and bring an end to the Internal Revenue Service.

In a GOP debate last year, Cruz said, “There are more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible, and not a one of them is as good.”

And during the Republican debate in December in Las Vegas, Cruz took one of many jabs at Trump when he said, “On border security: “We will build a wall that works, and I’ll get Donald Trump to pay for it.”

To learn more visit