Ken Block backs John Kasich for president

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich has picked up another endorsement from a prominent local Republican.

The Kasich campaign confirmed Thursday that Ken Block, who made a spirited but unsuccessful bid for Rhode Island’s GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2014, is backing their candidate in next Tuesday’s primary.

“John Kasich is the clear choice for a solutions oriented president,” Block said in an email. “Leadership is not about posturing, it is about getting real things done. Governor Kasich has proven his ability to lead and get good things done, and I fully support him in his campaign for the presidency.”

Block adds to the growing list of local Republicans backing Kasich, who has picked up steam among Rhode Island party leaders after Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio dropped out of the race. The Ohio governor’s other local backers include former Gov. Lincoln Almond, state Rep. Daniel Reilly and former Rubio co-chair Gary Sasse.

“Ken Block is someone who stands up for what he believes in,” former state Sen. Dawson Hodgson, a Kasich co-chair, said in an email. “We welcome his support for the type of leadership America needs in 2016, and look forward to working together to deliver a successful Ocean State primary on Tuesday for John Kasich.”

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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Block first ran for governor in 2010 as leader of a new party he founded, the Moderate Party, but joined the Republican Party in 2013 after deciding a bid from outside the two major parties was quixotic. The man who defeated him for the 2014 gubernatorial nomination, Allan Fung, backed Chris Christie and then Rubio in this year’s race.

While Donald Trump is widely expected to win the Rhode Island primary easily, Kasich is generally favored to top Ted Cruz for second place and has already announced plans to campaign in the state on Saturday. He is poised to pick up a number of delegates due in part to the way the state GOP has written its rules this year.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He hosts Executive Suite and writes The Saturday Morning Post. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

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