Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) has launched a political committee to assist in fundraising as he seeks to raise his national profile ahead of a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Kasich and his allies filed paperwork with the IRS on Monday for a 527 nonprofit group called New Day for America. The group can raise unlimited funds to pay for travel and other expenses the Ohio governor incurs as he travels the country testing the presidential waters.
Former Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) and former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson (R) are among the group’s directors.
In recent weeks, Kasich has signaled he’s increasingly serious about running for president. He’s been traveling the country pushing for a balanced budget amendment.
Those efforts had been bankrolled by a PAC formed late last year, Balanced Budget Forever, which includes former operatives from Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.
The New Day for America group will boost Kasich’s efforts, as he narrows his focus to critical early-voting states like South Carolina and New Hampshire. The launch of Kasich's 527 group was first reported by NH1.
Over the weekend, Kasich spoke at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s leadership summit along with more than a dozen potential GOP presidential contenders. Kasich urged Republicans in the state not to “commit too soon” to any candidates to give him time to make a decision on whether to run.
The trips to early voting states, coupled with an appearance on “Meet the Press,” have won the Ohio governor some buzz for his unapologetic, straight-talking style. Influential conservative columnist George Will has pushed Kasich to run, saying he’d bring “spirit” and “spice” to the nominating process.
"I'm more and more serious, or I wouldn't be doing these things," Kasich said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press.”
The former chairman of the House Budget Committee in the late 1990s frequently points to his work with then-President Clinton to balance the budget for three years. On NBC on Sunday, he said he has “more experience than anybody in the field.”
In 2014, Kasich won a landslide reelection in Ohio, a critical battleground state.
But he still lacks national name recognition and is buried deep in the polls behind a huge field of other potential contenders. According to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday, Kasich is tied for 11th place in the GOP field with three others at 2 percent support.