Columbus -- Ben Schulman, an Ohio State University student from the Cincinnati area, arrived at the building where Gov. John Kasich formally launched his presidential campaign at 6 a.m. July 21.

He was among hundreds of Republican-leaning voters who are supporting Kasich's bid for the GOP nomination in 2016.

He and a few friends were also the first people in line to get in the door.

"If he's going to be the president, it would be cool to be here when he's announcing," Schulman said, adding, "I like that he has a lot of ideas. He's not just a person who says we're against Obama or we're against Obamacare. He's got ideas for immigration reform, for helping the poor. I like that he's got clear issues, he's got stances and doesn't jump back and forth on a lot of things."

Upward of 4,400 tickets were requested for the event at the OSU Student Union. A couple of hours before the announcement, a line of people stretched outside the door and down the block in front of the building and included a mix of college students and other adults who are backing Kasich's presidential bid.

Many voiced support for Kasich's work as governor, crediting his policies with reversing recessionary economic doldrums and boosting the state's economy and coffers.

"I support John and everything that he's done," said Jeff King, a sophomore in physical therapy at Kent State University. "I believe that he's turned our state around and our job growth is great."

Jordan Black, a junior finance major at OSU, added, "Governors make good candidates. He definitely shows that he can lead. ... He's enthusiastic, he's charismatic."

Many supporters talked about Kasich's budget-balancing past, his congressional career and his success as Ohio's chief executive.

Mary Schumacher, a Youngstown native, is a Republican voter and a Kasich supporter. She was midway back in the line shortly before the doors opened July 32.

"I think he could balance the budget, and I think he speaks from the heart, and I think he's believable," she said.

Her husband, Doug, added, "He's willing to make the hard decisions. ... He doesn't make everybody happy, and that's kind of the way it's got to be when you're dealing with numbers."

Don Rings, a suburban Columbus resident, is a longtime supporter of the governor, dating back to a landfill battle that Kasich worked to counter when he was serving in the Ohio Legislature.

"I think he's pro-life, I like that," he said. "Secondly, he is a budget-minded man, and we need that greater than any other thing. He's truthful. He understands families. As far as I'm concerned, he's a genuine guy, all the way around, and I think he's analytical. He's been just a great guy."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.