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John Kasich ends his presidential campaign

Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday, May 4, leaving the fate of the party solely in GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s hands.

“I have always said that the Lord has a purpose for me, as he has for everyone,” Kasich said. “And, 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’s departure follows that of Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he had coordinated with not ten days ago in a last ditch effort to slow Trump’s momentum. Cruz was to focus on the Indiana primary, which Kasich would back down from in exchange for the right to campaign strongly in Oregon and New Mexico.

The goal of Cruz and Kasich’s plot had been to ensure the candidates reached the 2016 Republican National Convention in July without any of the three managing to clinch the nomination beforehand, allowing delegates to vote as they wished without regard to their constituents’ preference.

As a more traditional Republican candidate in a not-so traditional race, Kasich was expected by many to drop out long ago, yet he was the last governor standing in the race. Kasich had expected better results in the Northeast, citing preliminary polls, but he fell in the last five primaries — on average, by 35.2 percent to Trump in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — a big loss compared to fellow trailing candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders when considering that the GOP is based on a winner-take-all delegate system.

Following last night’s primary results in Indiana, Trump has widened his lead to 1,053 delegates of the 1,237 needed for the party nomination. Cruz reached 565 delegates before dropping while Kasich trailed both with 153 — 31 fewer than Trump needs to secure the nomination.

Kasich, though not covered as frequently as other Republican candidates, made headlines for his moderate views including his unique take on the Affordable Care Act, which he used to expand Medicaid in his home state of Ohio. Unlike the majority of his respective party, Kasich was also quite vocal on the topic of mental health, which many attribute to his personal connection with the topic as the brother of a man who suffers from schizoaffective disorder.

Kasich was also very open throughout his campaign about the effect interacting with people from across the nation had on him, going as far as to say how surprised he was to learn “how many people out there are lonely.”

“They encouraged me,” Kasich said in his announcement Wednesday night, choking back tears. “The people of our country changed me. They changed me with the stories of their lives.”

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