Requests from the public to attend Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State address in Medina: 1,184.
Number who got tickets: 50.
Tickets were awarded through a random drawing, with online requests due by 6 p.m. Tuesday. Those who got tickets were notified by email Wednesday.
Jim Lynch, a spokesman for Kasich, said the tickets awarded to the public are on par with the number given out during the governor’s two previous on-the-road talks in Steubenville and Lima. Kasich will deliver his latest annual address at 7 p.m. Monday at Medina High School’s Performing Arts Center, which has a seating capacity of 1,133.
“It’s always nice to accommodate more people,” Lynch said. “Before we took the show on the road we didn’t have this capacity at the Statehouse.”
Kasich will give his speech before a joint session of the Ohio House and Senate. Lynch said about 550 tickets will go to the General Assembly and about 50 to members of the media. He said others will go to Ohio Supreme Court members, local elected officials from Medina County, Courage Medal recipients and their guests, volunteers and members of Kasich’s Cabinet.
Kasich will give his speech at a time when he has a 51 percent approval rating, which has remained steady over the past year, but also when he enjoys only a slim lead over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, his Democratic challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
Kasich is leading FitzGerald, largely an unknown challenger, 43 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll.
FitzGerald’s campaign hailed the poll results as a victory and immediately sent out a fundraising email, hoping to capitalize.
“Donate $15 right now and help us make this race a dead heat,” Chip Shannon, FitzGerald’s political director, wrote in the email. “We can’t do it without you.”
The people who got tickets to Kasich’s speech, about 4 percent of the number who requested them, were pleased to be selected.
“I was quite surprised,” said Barbara Rosier-Tryon of Warren, who is Republican. “It’s an exciting thing. I always saw it on television … I’m very excited.”
Rosier-Tryon, who will be attending with her husband, Harold, said they plan to head to Medina, about an hour and 20 minutes away, early to have dinner before the speech.
An owner of a property management company, Rosier-Tryon said she is hoping to hear Kasich talk about his plans to improve the business climate in Ohio.
“What that means is jobs,” she said. “Jobs is what we sorely need.”
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmith and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith. Read the Beacon Journal’s political blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/ohio-politics.