Republican presidential candidate John Kasich had a taste of Little Italy and met with New York and Fordham voters at The Bronx Market.
Mike’s Deli served the Ohio governor a”Kasich Special” sandwich as New York City journalists live-tweeted his meal during his visit to the Bronx on Thursday afternoon.
“The Bronx has… a lot of hardworking people,” said David Greco the owner of Mike’s Deli. “I think we need a hard working person in the White House too.”
Kasich thought similarly of the residents of the Belmont area.
“The strength of our country rests in our neighborhoods, just like here,” he told crowds of supporters and reporters.
Kasich is not the first presidential candidate to visit the Bronx in recent weeks. Democratic senator Bernie Sanders rallied in the South Bronx at the end of March. Republican Senator Ted Cruz planned to visit a Bronx high school earlier this week but his staffers cancelled the event after students threatened to walk out, according to The New York Daily News.
Kasich’s appearance at Mike’s Deli was a side step from original efforts made by his campaign and the university to hold a press conference in the McGinley Center, according to university officials.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Kasich’s visit to the McGinley Ballroom had been scheduled for 12 p.m. on Eventbrite, an online event management service, but the site later indicated that the event would be relocated.
According to Bob Howe, director of communications for Fordham university, the university could not accommodate the campaign’s time frame nor venue needs.
The following is a statement from John Carroll, vice president of Public Safety, on Fordham’s communication with the Kasich campagn:
“Fordham University was asked by The Kasich Campaign for a venue two days prior to the event date. The Kasich Campaign required a venue for 300 people and seven hours. However, Fordham could not provide a venue for that specific request within the short period of time. The venues were already booked.”
The Kasich campaign could not be reached for comment as of Friday morning.
Sebastian Albrecht, FCRH ‘17, president of the College Republicans, contacted Greco to relocate the event to Mike’s Deli.
Kasich is the second presidential candidate to visit the Bronx in recent weeks. Democratic senator Bernie Sanders rallied in the South Bronx at the end of March.
A March 2016 survey of Fordham’s political climate and students’ presidential preferences indicated that Sanders has strong support among Fordham students, but the poll did not include Kasich. However, some Fordham students identify themselves as Kasich supporters and made their way off campus to see him.
“I’m here because I am a huge John Kasich fan and I feel he needs whatever support he can get,” said Ryan Quinn, FCRH ’17. “A lot of liberal college republicans aren’t fans of Trump or Cruz, so I think he decided to come to the Fordham area because he knows this is a demographic he can tap into.”
Brian Reardon, FCRH ’18, appreciates Kasich’s more moderate political policies.
“I think we’ve become too polarized in American politics recently,” said Reardon. “Kasich is a much more moderate candidate who I feel can work with both sides of the aisle, which I believe is especially important in a political candidate.”
Others agreed that the close Democratic race in particular, which the poll indicated divides students among partly lines, has increased political sentiment on campus.
“New York never gets any attention when it comes to general elections,” said Doug Spring, FCRH ’17 and international political economy major. “Primaries are normally decided by the time New York’s primary rolls around, so it’s a really great time to be a political science major here in New York City.”
The New York primary will take place on April 19, 2016.
Laura Sanicola contributed reporting.