LIMA — Some lucky “winners” today will hit the lottery, the State of the State ticket lottery, that is.
Through a contest, Gov. John Kasich offered a limited number of tickets to the public for Tuesday’s policy address at Veterans Memorial Civic Center. The deadline to enter was Thursday, and winners are to be notified today.
Ohio’s Democratic chairman and state Rep. Chris Redfern questioned the propriety of the public online ticket lottery organized by the governor’s office.
In a Wednesday letter to House Speaker William Batchelder, Redfern said the speech is a legislative event, not an administrative one. The State of the State is given at a joint session of the Legislature.
Redfern also complained Kasich is collecting information on lottery participants to be used for soliciting campaign donations.
Kasich declined to respond to the criticism Friday during an interview with The Lima News.
“I have no response to that,” Kasich said.
A Kasich spokesman told the Associated Press the lottery is administered through the governor’s office, not his campaign.
This is the second year Kasich has taken the speech outside Columbus and offered tickets to the public. In 2012, the State of the State was held outside the capital for the first time when Kasich asked the Legislature to move the location of the speech from Columbus to Steubenville. This year he again announced he wanted to move the speech, this time to Lima, and again the Legislature voted to allow the change of venue.
Kasich is scheduled to give his speech at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, also a first. The speech is typically a noon-time event. The day will be a working day in Lima for much of state government, as many of the governor’s cabinet members are holding meetings or taking tours in the community during the day and the Legislature plans to hold several committee hearings that day. Batchelder and others representing the majority and minority caucuses of the House and Senate will also speak at a legislative luncheon.