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Michigan backers plan fundraiser for Kasich

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Michigan supporters of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign are planning a Nov. 23 fundraiser in downtown Detroit for the Republican White House hopeful, according an invitation obtained by The Detroit News.

PVS Chemicals executive David Nicholson is organizing the $2,700-a-plate private dinner and reception with Kasich at One Campus Martius — commonly known as the Compuware building — in downtown Detroit.

Nicholson, who is the volunteer finance chairman of Kasich’s Michigan campaign, sent potential donors an email invitation Sunday.

“I will save you the long email on polls, insider versus outsider candidates, New Hampshire voter decision timing and the multitude of other information that inundates us every day,” Nicholson wrote. “But I will tell you that as someone who has been a part of balancing the federal budget while in Congress and balanced the state of Ohio budget as governor, John Kasich is prepared to be president of the United States.”

Kasich is a former member of Congress who chaired the budget committees in the mid- through the late-1990s when the federal budget was last balanced. He was elected governor of Ohio in 2010 and re-elected last year.

Kasich has been campaigning as a pragmatic centrist for the GOP presidential nomination in a crowded field of conservative Republicans.

But Kasich’s polling numbers continue to lag behind political newcomers Donald Trump and Ben Carson and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in New Hampshire, a key early voting state in the GOP nomination schedule, according to an average of recent polls in the Granite State.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, and members of the wealthy Nicholson and Cotton families are among a group of 15 Kasich donors listed as hosts for the event. The Nicholsons own PVS Chemicals in Detroit.

The Cottons, owners of Merdian Health, jointly own the Compuware building with billionaire Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, who has been supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for president.

According to the Kasich fundraiser invitation, hosts are expected to raise a minimum of $10,000 in bundled contributions for the presidential campaign. Dinner tickets cost $2,700 per person, the maximum individual contribution limit for presidential candidates.

Nicholson, chief executive officer of PVS Chemical’s sulfur and distribution groups, could not be reached Monday for comment.

Kasich has made five campaign visits to Michigan this year, the last being an Oct. 12 tour of an auto parts factory in Grand Rapids.

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