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Style, stances of Ohio's GOP governor evolving

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 11:14:42 EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) seemed at first to relish the idea he'd be a one-term governor. If making government changes he viewed as painful but necessary alienated partisans, lobbyists, unions and voters, it would be worth it.

More recently, the 61-year-old Republican has softened his style. He's also expressed positions on Medicaid, taxes and spending that rankle many conservatives.

His change in tone began after a bitter labor-backed campaign in 2011 that overturned restrictions on public employee unions that Kasich had signed into law.

Observers say the approach since then may be intended to position Kasich for re-election or a run for president.

Kasich says sound policy drives his decisions, not polls or party platforms. Critics say Kasich is downplaying stances still too conservative for Ohio.

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