Dan Sewell

COLUMBUS: Going through plans for breakfast speakers, entertainment outings and receptions at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland, GOP Chairman Matt Borges told his states delegates to also plan on a party the last night to celebrate after Governor Kasichs acceptance speech.

Borges said the 66 delegates are ready to vote for Gov. John Kasich for presidential nominee as many times as it takes. The delegates met just north of Columbus Friday afternoon to go over convention plans from hotel arrangements and logistics to a gathering at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

There was also plenty of pep talk for the Kasich bid, which depends on Republican businessman Donald Trump falling short of a majority and delegates moving to Kasich on subsequent ballots based on his pitch as the partys best hope in November.

Kasichs entire delegate slate will go to the convention because he won the March 15 winner-take-all Ohio primary, he remains a distant third to Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with only 153 overall.

Trump has scoffed at Kasichs campaign for winning only his home-state primary and urged that he drop out. The upcoming Indiana primary looms as key to the effort to deny Trump a first-ballot nomination.

Gaining Kasich support

Nothings really changed, Borges said after the delegation meeting. The plan is still the same: Get to the convention. If nobody has 1,237 [delegate majority], it becomes open, the delegates select, and thats when his [Kasichs] message that, Im the one who can beat [Democratic front-runner] Hillary Clinton takes over.

First-time delegate state Rep. Niraj Antani, of the Dayton area, is already reaching out to delegates he knows in other states to lay the groundwork for converting them.

From people Ive known in politics and working on the [Mitt] Romney campaign [in 2012] and being a state legislator, theres a decent number of delegates that I know in other states that Im going to talk to ... and hoping on the second or third ballot, theyll support Gov. Kasich, Antani said.