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John Kasich To Campaign In Portland, Medford On April 28

<p>Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich greets audience members after speaking at a town hall at Penn State Brandywine Campus, Thursday, April 21, 2016, in Media, Pa.</p>

Matt Slocum

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Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich greets audience members after speaking at a town hall at Penn State Brandywine Campus, Thursday, April 21, 2016, in Media, Pa.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday became the first Republican presidential candidate to announce a campaign swing through Oregon.

Kasich will hold a town hall meeting at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Castaway Portland, an event space at 1900 NW 18th Ave. That evening he will hold a similar event in Medford at a still-to-be-announced location. Both are open to the public.

Kasich is running a distant third behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the GOP delegate count. But his campaign has high hopes that his more moderate image will have stronger appeal in Oregon’s May 17 primary. His only hope of gaining the nomination is at a deadlocked convention in Cleveland that goes to multiple ballots.

Still, Kasich is supported by a large number of establishment Republicans in Oregon. Many of them had started the campaign season raising money for Jeb Bush before he left the race.

Kasich’s campaign was late-starting in Oregon, to the point he failed to get a statement in the voter’s pamphlet. But he’s now the one candidate who says he will be in the state just as voters are beginning to receive ballots in the mail. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, April 26, and ballots start to go out a day later.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, Jeff covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has covered numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, as well as many sessions of the Legislature, stretching back to 1985. Jeff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in journalism.