Karen Kasich wasn’t expecting to meet her future husband twenty-five years ago when she was sent out on a work assignment. John Kasich, a congressman at the time, was on a list of officials to photograph for a magazine. It was her first job out of college and she was surprised to receive a call from the congressman after the piece was published.
“He called me at the office and said, you know, ‘I wanted to tell you, I thought the magazine turned out real nicely.’” He asked her out to lunch. She remembers laughing and the twinkle in his eye. After eight years of dating, they were wed in 1997. Karen Kasich later left her career in healthcare, public relations and marketing to spend time with their twin daughters Emma and Reese, 16, and pursue volunteer opportunities as the First Lady of Ohio.
Now, Karen has another job. She stands alongside her husband as he runs for president for the second time. After John told her he was entering the 2016 race, her first reaction was “Oh boy, here we go again.” Back in 1999 Kasich announced his campaign for the Republican nomination, but dropped out after a few months.
In his second bid for president, Kasich is fighting to stand-out in the Republican line-up. His wife Karen remains optimistic. “The thing that I’m so proud of with him is the fact that not only does she have experience, but he’s got the compassion because of what he’s seen in all these years as CEO of the state of Ohio.”
ABC News' Angel Canales, Ben Gittleson, Luis Yordan and Brian Fudge contributed to this report.