Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell initially thought he might not be able to get a ticket to see Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State speech, even though it will be delivered next month in his city.
Hanwell was told that he, Medina City Council members and the three Medina County commissioners could be in a lottery to get tickets for the Feb. 24 speech in Medina High School’s 1,134-seat performing arts center. The mayor later was told, however, that he and these other local elected officials will be among those receiving coveted, guaranteed spots for the event.
Beyond them, Hanwell isn’t sure how many local residents will be able to attend the speech, the third traveling address Kasich has delivered during his first term as governor.
Kasich will give his address at 7 p.m. before a joint session of the legislature.
“We have no idea how many will be available to the public,” Hanwell said.
He expects demand for tickets to far exceed supply and has taken steps to make sure more residents will get the chance to see the speech, albeit not in person. The speech will be broadcast live in the Medina High School gym, which is across the campus from the performing arts center. It also will be shown live on Channel 37, the local access cable station in Medina.
“It’s a pretty unusual and exciting event for the city,” said Hanwell, who is a Republican — his office is nonpartisan — and is beginning his second term as mayor.
Rob Nichols, the governor’s spokesman, said Tuesday in an email that details on the lottery for the State of the State tickets will be released early next week. Seats will be needed for the legislature and its staff, Cabinet members and the press.
Hanwell said the Medina High gym can seat up to 2,000 people. He said he considered showing the speech at the Medina County administration building, but it would hold only 400 to 500 people. Plus, he said, the high school has technology that will make broadcasting the speech easy.
Parking at the high school will be reserved for those with tickets for the speech. Those who want to watch the speech at the high school can park at the nearby Sidney Finn Elementary, Claggett Middle School or the Kindergarten Center. Parking also will be available on the nonhydrant side of residential streets, according to a Medina press release.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or email@example.com.