COLUMBUS - John Kasich, who has refused to support GOP nominee Donald Trump, voted Monday – for John McCain.
The Ohio governor's write-in vote for the 2008 GOP nominee, confirmed by a spokesman, won't count. Ohio law requires write-in candidates to file with the secretary of state more than two months before Election Day.
With the vote for McCain, Kasich, who failed in his own presidential bid this year, issued a final rebuke of Trump.
The Ohio governor has long said he finds Trump's policy positions and behavior troubling. This month, he confirmed he would not vote for the controversial New York billionaire, despite having signed a pledge last year to support the Republican nominee, no matter who it was.
"It's clear that he hasn't changed and has no interest in doing so. As a result, Donald Trump is a man I cannot and should not support," Kasich said in an I-told-you-so statement Oct. 8. That weekend, a 2005 video had surfaced in which Trump talked about kissing women without consent and grabbing their genitals. Several women have alleged since that time that Trump acted out such behavior, despite his insistence otherwise.
"I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country. Our country deserves better," Kasich said.
Kasich is keeping his options open for a possible 2020 bid if Trump loses. He had insisted he would not vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In McCain, Kasich voted for one of the earliest targets of Trump's insults. Trump said last summer that McCain, a former prisoner of war and a U.S. senator from Arizona, is "not a war hero" because he was captured.
Kasich also fashioned his primary campaign in New Hampshire after McCain's town-hall based efforts in 2000 and 2008. Kasich's chief strategist, John Weaver, was the architect of McCain's "Straight Talk Express" bus tour, which Kasich duplicated in 2015 and early 2016.
Cleveland.com first reported Kasich's vote.
Kasich has continued to travel the country since abandoning his presidential bid in May, keeping his name in front of Republican voters and campaigning for Republicans in tight congressional races.
His presidential campaign committee has used the congressional effort to continue to fundraise, warning Monday of "a critical October deadline tonight." It has donated the maximum amount of $2,000 to Republicans in competitive Senate races in Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada and North Carolina, spokesman Chris Schrimpf said Monday.