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Local Kasich supporters to meet Wednesday, hopeful he can still contend

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While many local influential Republicans and conservatives have endorsed Donald Trump for president, backers of John Kasich are hopeful the Ohio governor can still gain delegates in the New York Primary. On Wednesday, they'll meet to build more support for their candidate.

The New York Primary takes place on April 19 and while this week's local attention will be mostly on the Clintons - former president Bill is in Depew on Tuesday while White House hopeful Hillary is scheduled to appear in the Buffalo area on Friday - Kasich supporters will gather inside the Private Leonard Post in Cheektowaga on Wednesday, beginning at 7 p.m., to organize support for their candidate.

"Kasich is the one candidate who has executive experience, running his state," said New York State Assemblyman and Kasich supporter Ray Walter. "He's got excellent credentials from Washington. He was the architect of the balanced budget agreement back in the 90s. I think he's shown that he has the type of resume and the ability to lead this country."

Those backing the Kasich campaign say the Ohio governor and former Congressman has the best chance in New York to beat the presumed Democratic nominee, Mrs. Clinton. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, Kasich trails Clinton by only five points. That's noteworthy in a state where there are three million more registered Democratic voters than registered Republican voters, according to the latest statistics from the New York Board of Elections.

By comparison, Clinton leads Donald Trump by 20 points in the same Quinnipiac poll while she leads Republican Ted Cruz by 21 points.

Walter and other Kasich supporters remain hopeful that, with no clear candidate in position to clinch nomination in advance of the GOP's convention in Cleveland, Kasich could still emerge as the candidate, especially if Republicans turn on Trump.

"He has shown himself to be the adult in the room during this entire process," Walter said of Kasich.

It was not disclosed whether Kasich may visit the Buffalo area. He is scheduled to appear in Rochester on Saturday, April 9, according to his official campaign website.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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