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Joint session for the governor's State of the State address

Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 11:41 AM EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gov. John Kasich, who has made a practice of taking his State of the State address on the road, will deliver his 2014 address in Medina tonight.

Kasich asked the leaders of the Ohio House and Senate to convene a joint session at the Medina Performing Arts Center so he can deliver the address.

The move is a nod to House Speaker William G. Batchelder, a Republican who represents Medina and is in his last year of a public service career that has lasted more than four decades.

"As he starts the last year of his term this is a way to recognize his distinguished 46-year career in public service," Rob Nichols, the governor's press secretary, said of House speaker.

Kasich delivered his first State of the State message in Columbus in 2011, which had been the tradition of previous governors.

But each of the last two years he has taken it away from the capital.

Two years ago he delivered his speech at the Wells Academy, a public elementary school in Steubenville. Last year the message was delivered in Lima, in western Ohio.

While the address is delivered to the General Assembly, moving it away from Columbus also allows the governor to take his message out into Ohio and to the people.

In Lima, for example, he spoke to a large crowd that filled the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center, laying out his agenda for the year not just to legislators, but to the public as well.

In taking his address to Medina, Kasich will be speaking in the Greater Cleveland media market and to voters who will play an important role in the gubernatorial election later this year. Cuyahoga County remains the state's most populous county and it, along with its surrounding counties, represent a large segment of the electorate.

Kasich's address will come about one week after Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, his likely Democratic challenger, delivered his last state of the county message.


Joint session for the governor's State of the State address

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