After almost 10 months on the campaign trail, Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Wednesday that he would suspend his presidential run.
Kasich made the announcement during a press conference just after 5 p.m. in the Wells Barn at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio.
“As I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life,” Kasich said.
Kasich ends his campaign with 153 delegates.
The governor’s campaign suspension clears the path for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as the Republican National Convention approaches in July. However, Kasich did not mention Trump or any presidential candidates during his speech.
He spent the 15-minute speech thanking supporters, reminiscing about the campaign and talking about voters he had met along the way.
“I’ve learned something, folks,” he said, “We need to slow down our lives and listen to those around us.”
Kasich also thanked his wife and daughters, as well as his home state.
“As for my beloved Ohio, the people here, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to be a leader in this state,” Kasich said.
The announcement came after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his campaign Tuesday night following Trump’s Indiana primary win. Both he and Kasich hoped to stop Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination and then go on to prevail in an open convention.
Shortly after it was announced Trump had won the Indiana primary, Kasich’s campaign site stated Kasich would stay in the race.
Wednesday morning, Kasich’s campaign posted a video on Twitter describing the results of a potential election victory by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Trump in November. The video prophesies this future through a scrolling yellow text intro, a la “Star Wars,” and is accompanied by the film’s theme song, with the hashtag #MayThe4thBeWithYou.
He was scheduled to be in Virginia Wednesday but abruptly changed plans shortly after the tweet, instead staying in Columbus, Ohio. Multiple news outlets reported from campaign sources that Kasich would be dropping out later in the day.
Even in his speech, Kasich held off from officially saying he was suspending his campaign until the last moments of his statement.
Kasich also mentioned the generosity of donors to his campaign, acknowledging the uphill battle his team faced vying for the nomination of his party.
“We never had all the money we wanted. We were probably outspent 50-to-one,” he said. “But we were never, ever daunted in that.”
Kasich announced his run for president at his alma mater, Ohio State, on July 21. The announcement was met by chants of, “Run, John, run,” by supporters in the Ohio Union after weeks of anticipation leading up to his campaign kickoff.
Kasich claimed his first and only primary victory in his home state of Ohio on March 16. With that primary win, he collected all of Ohio’s 66 delegates, more than doubling his total at the time.
He had promised to end his White House bid if he failed to carry his own state, but he told supporters attending his primary watch party on March 16 at Baldwin Wallace University that, with the win, the campaign would continue.
Despite carrying a somber tone through portions of his speech on Wednesday, Kasich said he has found several silver linings looking back at his experience as Republican presidential candidate.
“The people of our country changed me,” he said. “They changed me with the stories of their lives.”
This was Kasich’s second run for the White House, after a brief campaign in 1999 that ended with him dropping out due to low fundraising support.