Kasich set to start Michigan bus tour in Ann Arbor

Jonathan Oosting Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing – Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich will begin his weeklong Michigan bus tour with events in Ann Arbor, Grand Blanc and Warren on March 2, the day after 13 Super Tuesday primary and caucus contests.

The Ohio governor will start his Wednesday with a 10 a.m. town hall meeting at the University of Michigan’s Rogel Ballroom. He is scheduled to speak at the Genesys Conference & Banquet Center in Grand Blanc at 3 p.m. before a 5 p.m. campaign rally at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren.

Kasich does not have any stops scheduled yet for Thursday — when Fox News will host a 9 p.m. Republican presidential debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit — but his tour will continue Friday with a rally at the Herman Miller Greenhouse Lighting Facility in Holland.

The campaign is expected to announce additional bus tour stops in coming days.

Friday’s campaign announcement came as Kasich campaign received the endorsement of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.

“Gov. Kasich is the lone voice of reason and optimism in a very loud room,” Whitman said in a statement released by the Kasich campaign.

It happened on the same day that New York real estate developer Donald Trump received the backing of current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who dropped out of the presidential race after finishing in sixth place in the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary.

Kasich is focusing heavily on Michigan’s March 8 primary, hoping a strong performance here will help him build momentum for the following week, when his home state of Ohio and others host winner-take-all contests for delegates. His best finish in the first four contests was second in New Hampshire.

Kasich placed fourth in a Feb. 14-16 Detroit News-WDIV poll of likely Michigan Republican primary voters, garnering support from 10.5 percent of respondents. Businessman Donald Trump topped the poll at 25 percent, followed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 15 percent and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 12 percent.

The poll’s margin of error was a plus-minus 4 percentage points.