Official says Ohio governor to endorse Romney

JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) is preparing to throw his support behind Mitt Romney for president as the presumptive Republican nominee visits the battleground state.

An official with knowledge of the decision says the Republican governor will make the endorsement Thursday. The source requested anonymity because the information had not yet been made public.

The decision comes days after Kasich allies took control of the Ohio Republican Party, which can raise money and recruit volunteers across the state.

After false starts backing former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kasich remained neutral in the Republican primaries. He had relationships from his days as a congressman with at least two other presidential hopefuls, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

Kasich made a brief run for president in 2000.