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Kasich right choice for women

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor

John Kasich has not only conducted the most serious and dignified campaign of all the Republican presidential candidates, but he is also the candidate who has demonstrated the most respect for women. That respect extends far past avoiding the kind of coarse, demeaning locker-room language other candidates have employed on the campaign trail. It affirms the inherent value of the contributions women make in every facet of society and supports them as they strive to reach their God-given potential.

Kasich has always surrounded himself with strong women. The son of a hardworking and determined mother, he married an accomplished public relations professional, Karen Waldbillig Kasich. His desire to leave a better country for their twin teenage daughters, Emma and Reese, inspires his actions and policies.

Kasich’s chief of staff, who currently serves as his campaign manager, is a talented and capable woman, as are a number of cabinet members and leaders in key executive positions in his administration.

But this elevation of women to key roles on his team is just the beginning of his record of inclusion.

Kasich supports women through action to help the most vulnerable women in our society. He expanded health care for the poor in Ohio to cover over 300,000 women without coverage. Under his leadership, women received mental health and medical treatment in a coordinated, comprehensive system for the first time in Ohio’s history. His administration rewards providers based on quality over quantity of care, raising the bar for everyone receiving healthcare in Ohio.

By balancing the state budget, replacing a projected $8 billion deficit with a $2 billion surplus, cutting taxes and aggressively pursuing economic development, Kasich has partnered with Ohioans to create 400,000 new private-sector jobs during his tenure. He also made $5 billion in tax cuts, the largest of any sitting U.S. governor. The increase in the earned income tax credit, in particular, lightens the tax burden on single mothers, who are disproportionately affected by poverty.

When Kasich took office, he set to work to confront two societal crises: prescription drugs abuse and human trafficking. In 2011, southern part of Ohio was in the grip of a prescription drug crisis that was shattering families and costing lives. Together with former Attorney General Betty Montgomery, he shut down pill mills, increased the availability of drug treatment and invested more resources for law enforcement to make major inroads into the problem. To confront human trafficking, Kasich signed legislation to increase penalties on perpetrators, provide victims the services they need to rebuild their lives, and increase awareness of the problem in the state of Ohio.

Kasich, who has opposed abortion his entire political career, has served Ohio’s women by prioritizing funding for organizations that offer high-quality, comprehensive reproductive care. He provided first-ever state funding for rape crisis center and instituted a parenthood and pregnancy support program that provides counseling and supplies for new mothers. To help women seeking alternatives to abortion, Kasich has streamlined adoption laws, reducing red tape and making it easier for mothers who want this option.

In a campaign marked by loud, bombastic rhetoric, Kasich is the one candidate who has quietly walked the talk over his years in office on issues important to women and families.

Mary Taylor is lieutenant governor of Ohio. She previously served as that state’s auditor and as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.