Marv Hagedorn

Idaho state Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian poses with an Abraham Lincoln impersonator at the Idaho State Capitol in an undated photo.

(Courtesy Hagedorn’s campaign website)

State Sen. Marv Hagedorn will be the co-chairman for John Kasich’s presidential campaign in Idaho, the Ohio governor’s campaign announced Wednesday.

“As a small businessman and veteran I appreciate Gov. Kasich’s work to balance our nation’s budget and create a strong national defense,” Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said in a statement. “Not only has John Kasich successfully turned around Ohio, but he is also the chief architect of the last time America balanced it’s budget. We know that Gov. Kasich has the ability to turn our Country around just like he did Ohio, AND he has the record to prove it!”

“Senator Hagedorn knows the importance of balancing the budget and common-sense conservatism,” Kasich said. “I’m proud to have him help lead our team in Idaho.”

Kasich is probably best known for his role in balancing the federal budget during the Clinton administration as head of the House Budget Committee, and for his decision as governor to buck many in his own party and expand Medicaid in Ohio. He is polling at third in the early primary state of New Hampshire, on which his campaign has heavily focused, but ranks 10th, with just 2 percent, in recent national polling.

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Hagedorn is in his second term in the state Senate, after three in the House. He retired from the U.S. navy after 20 years on active duty and has worked in various private sector jobs in the 21 years since. He also co-founded and oversees the Wyakin Warrior Foundation, which helps wounded warriors transition back into the private sector.

As for other Idaho politicos, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador is working for Rand Paul’s presidential campaign. The rest of the federal delegation and the higher-up state officials haven’t made any endorsements yet. In interviews in late July and early August, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson made comments praising Kasich but didn’t endorse anyone yet.

UPDATE: Mary Taylor, the lieutenant governor of Ohio, was in Idaho Wednesday, at the yearly Ada County Republican Round-Up, an annual fundraiser that was held at Otter’s ranch in Star. Here’s a photo of her with Hagedorn and Lt. Gov. Brad Little, and here’s another of Otter and First Lady Lori Otter at the fundraiser.

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