After traveling to various corners of the state for his annual State of the State speech in previous years, Gov. John Kasich literally is keeping the 2018 presentation closer to home -- in Westerville.
Kasich sent a letter to legislative leaders Dec. 18 requesting they convene a joint session March 6 at the Fritsche Theatre at Otterbein University for his final State of the State speech. The speech would begin at 7 p.m.
Kasich last year delivered his speech in Sandusky, and in past years traveled to Lima, Steubenville, Medina, Marietta and Wilmington.
Governors traditionally have given the annual speech in the Ohio Statehouse, but Kasich decided to take the show on the road. In recent years, some lawmakers from both parties have grown weary of the traveling event and have tried to convince him to bring it back to Columbus.
The House and Senate must approve the time and location before it is official. Kasich lives in Genoa Township in Delaware County, near Westerville.
State Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville), an Otterbein alumna, said it's a "great idea" that Kasich is bringing the speech to town.
"It makes perfect sense that the governor is doing the State of the State in the city where he began his run for governor," she said, noting that he kicked off his first campaign for governor at the Everal Barn in Westerville in 2009.
"It is a great opportunity to showcase Westerville to legislators and other visitors," she said.