EDITOR’S NOTE: Each day of the Republican National Convention, The Post and Courier will feature a profile of a different delegate representing the Palmetto State in Cleveland.
BY EMMA DUMAIN
CLEVELAND — In 1982, a 16-year-old Randy Page responded to a knock on the door.
“There was this young guy running for Congress,” Page recalled. “He was coming door to door in my little town, so small that city councilmen didn’t even come door to door. This was really interesting. I was really intrigued by him. I got involved in his campaign, made phone calls, folded letters and put up signs. He encouraged me to get involved in the process, so I did.”
That young guy was John Kasich, a Republican who would go on that year to be elected representative for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. In 2011, he would become the governor of Ohio. In 2016, he would run for president.
By the time the Kasich presidential campaign rode through South Carolina, Page, now the public affairs director at Bob Jones University in Greenville, had already attached himself to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as the man he supported for the White House.
“I like Kasich,” Page explained, “but I really have been captivated by Rubio’s optimism, his ability to communicate issues for the base but also for a broad spectrum of voters.”
Still, Page credits Kasich with giving him his first job in Republican politics, even if it was a volunteer gig.
After college, Page went on to work for Gov. David Beasley and two lieutenant governors, Bob Peeler and Andre Bauer. This is only his second time as a Republican National Convention delegate; he attended the Tampa convention four years ago.
Page downplayed any disappointment he might have in not getting to cast a ballot for Rubio — he and the 49 other S.C. delegates are bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot. He said he was excited Rubio is running for reelection to the Senate and felt confident the party was growing more unified in its resolve to defeat the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The Buckeye State native is also glad to be back in Ohio.
“It’s a homecoming for me,” he said.
Emma Dumain is The Post and Courier’s Washington correspondent.