COLUMBUS, Ohio-- John Kasich is dropping out of the Republican presidential race, two sources familiar with the plan confirmed to CNN and the Associated Press.
Kasich canceled a press conference in Virginia and instead is set to hold a press conference at 5 p.m. today in Columbus at The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens -- The Wells Barn.
**You can watch that press conference right here on FOX8.com**
Kasich's decision came after he improbably became the last challenger to Donald Trump, who emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee Tuesday night when Ted Cruz dropped out. Even before winning his home state of Ohio in March, Kasich was facing pressure to get out of the race, with no clear path to victory. His campaign never became more than a spoiler run, designed to keep Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before a contested convention.
GOP Convention spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski told FOX 8, "The convention staff will begin working with the Trump campaign to bring them up to speed on the months of planning that's been happening in Cleveland so we can unite and make the convention a success for the Republican Party and nominee." The Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21 here in Cleveland.
Kasich's campaign is not providing details about what the Ohio governor plans to say in his statement later Tuesday, or on why he canceled his Virginia event.
Kasich had planned fundraisers in the Washington, D.C., area Wednesday. He had planned to address reporters at Dulles Airport but his campaign says he is no longer going there.
On Tuesday before Donald Trump won the Indiana primary, Kasich said his plans have not changed:
“Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention. The comments from Trump, on the verge of winning in Indiana, heighten the differences between Governor Kasich and his positive, inclusive approach and the disrespectful ramblings from Donald Trump.”
The DNC Chair released a statement responding to Kasich dropping out of the race:
“With Governor Kasich out of the race, any remaining hope the GOP had of concealing its true colors behind his comparatively friendly-faced candidacy has evaporated. But make no mistake, the extreme policies for which he has long fought, are virtually indistinguishable from those of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the rest of the modern Republican Party.
“For years, Republican leaders have employed a divisive political strategy to compel people to vote out of distrust, suspicion and hate – rewarding those at the top and denigrating women, minorities, the LGBT community and more in the process. The result is the cynical, divided, bickering Republican base we see now. Today, the only energy left in the Republican primary isn’t for anything, it’s against everything that doesn’t line up with their extreme views. The obstruction and broken government we’re seeing in Washington is the result.
“The contrast couldn’t be more stark. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are fighting for the American people – for higher wages, for more opportunity, for a level playing field and for a brighter future. Our voters are energized, enthusiastic, and optimistic because our candidates are committed to moving America forward. And that’s why we’re going to win on Election Day in November.”