UPDATE: John Kasich gives NH a shout out as he drops out of race for GOP presidential nomination
CONCORD –Saying that he has "deeper faith" that God will show him the way forward, Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Wednesday afternoon that he was ending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
"As I suspend my campaign today I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the lord will show me the way forward, and fulfill the purpose of my life," said at the end of a 15 minute address that was carried live the national cable networks and on broadcast television in New Hampshire by NH1 News.
The news that Kasich would drop out of the race was first reported Wednesday morning, and three sources close to the governor's campaign quickly confirmed the reports to NH1 News.
Kasich's decision came after he improbably became the last challenger to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The Ohio governor's decision to end his presidential bid followed by hours the move by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to suspend his White House campaign after losing to Trump by double digits in Indiana's primary. That contest was considered a must win state for Cruz if he had any hopes of derailing Trump from clinching the nomination before the end of the primary season.
The only path to the nomination for either Cruz or Kasich was to try and force a contested Republican convention in Cleveland in July.
Kasich, who served nearly two decades in Congress before becoming Buckeye State governor, was considered a long shot for the nomination. But his strong second place finish in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary boosted his campaign.
Kasich gave a shout out to the Granite State in his speech on Wednesday, saying "when we hit our 100th town hall, it was remarkable. Those beautiful towns. I will never forget the people of New Hampshire."
But the only contest Kasich won was his home state, in mid-March. And with no clear path towards victory, Kasich was facing pressure to drop out.
Kasich's campaign had strong connections to New Hampshire, and former Sen. John E. Sununu not only served as state party chair for the campaign, the longtime Kasich friend was also a top adviser to the Ohio governor.