Governor Kasich on re-election: ‘This is an amazing night for me’

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COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Republican John Kasich has coasted to a second term as Ohio's governor by defeating Cleveland Democrat Ed FitzGerald.

"This ain't your old man's Ohio anymore. This is a new, exciting and innovative state!" Those were John Kasich's comments after winning his second term in the governor's office.

Kasich's platform has been jobs. His campaign team touted his focus on the creation of 250,000 jobs over his first term. He cut income taxes and taxes on small businesses working with the Ohio General Assembly, to the tune of $3 billion.

Kasich has helped make Ohio a more business-friendly environment. He eliminated Ohio's death tax, which helped farmers, and small business owners keep their business in the family.

He will surely continue fighting the drug problem and helping feed the poor. He authorized state expenditures of $7 million so food banks and school kids have more access to better food choices.

At his victory party at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus, Kasich thanked his family and thousands of volunteers for their work along the campaign trail.

"This is an amazing night for me."

Kasich also thanked Ed FitzGerald for putting up a good fight.  "He's a good man from a good family, I wish him nothing but the best."

*CLICK HERE for a complete list of election results*

Tuesday's victory was expected after a series of campaign missteps by the Cuyahoga County executive left him seriously behind in polls and fundraising.

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FitzGerald spoke out after the race was called.  "I want to congratulate Governor Kasich and I truly wish him well," FitzGerald said. He thanked his staff and volunteers for their hard work and talked about what a privilege it's been. "I've met people who made this real for me," he said.

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Early on, the 62-year-old Kasich was seen as vulnerable largely because of political fallout from a collective-bargaining battle he lost against public employee unions in 2011.

But FitzGerald suffered a series of political blows this summer that included dismal fundraising, the departure of two top staffers and revelations that he lacked a permanent driver's license for more than a decade.

Kasich ran on his record of job creation in the wake of a punishing recession and his efforts to rein in Ohio government spending and cut taxes.

He released the following statement Tuesday night:

"Ohio's made a lot of progress in the past four years because we had the courage to come together to solve tough problems. The result is that Ohio is getting stronger every day.

Though the challenges may change in the next four years, we know how to tackle them head on--don't be afraid to make tough choices, come together to solve problems, keep government small, manage responsibly and have the determination to lift up our neighbors. I'm proud of what we've all accomplished—and will accomplish—and grateful for the chance to play a role in it.

My family, our team of volunteers, our supporters, our staff and, most important, the people of Ohio--thank you for being there to support me and thank you for all you do every day for our great state.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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