John Kasich qualified as the last standing Donald Trump rival of primary season. He may have dropped out mere hours after Ted Cruz did, but Kasich still counts as the final holdout. He’s also the only long-lived Trump competitor who refuses to endorse the Republican nominee, and he took his distaste all the way to the voting booth, so to speak.
So, while Ted Cruz is sadly leaving voicemails, Marco Rubio is kicking himself in the face, and Ben Carson is veering off the rails — all three in service to their former enemy — Kasich won’t back down. He’s standing firm against the nominee to such a degree that he voted for a write-in candidate by absentee ballot on Monday. His pick? Arizona Senator John McCain:
Chris Schrimpf, the governor’s political spokesman, confirmed the write-in vote to cleveland.com and said Kasich voted straight-ticket Republican on the rest of his ballot. Schrimpf added that Kasich was comfortable picking McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee for president, over Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former Republican on the ballot as a nonpartisan candidate.
Unfortunately for Kasich, his vote is only symbolic, for McCain didn’t qualify as a write-in candidate in Ohio. However, Kasich would rather throw away his vote than pony up for someone he couldn’t stomach. Neither of the major-party nominees appealed to him, nor did a third-party option. Kasich did this his way, for his revulsion towards the real estate mogul runs so deep that he refused, even as Ohio governor, to attend the national convention in Cleveland. And he’s also the only former Trump rival to stand up to the RNC’s apparent threat over future political retribution over his holdout.
Interestingly enough, McCain also recently expressed the desire to write in a candidate, but he hasn’t indicated that Kasich is his pick. Instead, McCain will likely choose Lindsey Graham.