Kasich renews Ohio membership in bipartisan governors’ group

Republican Gov. John Kasich has restored Ohio’s membership in the National Governors Association as he seeks to shore up credibility for bipartisan deal-making that could bolster a 2020 bid for president.

An invoice produced in response to a public records request shows Ohio rejoined the bipartisan policy group in January for the first time in eight years. Kasich withdrew Ohio from the group in 2011, citing budget concerns.

The $88,000 membership renewal came about a month after The Associated Press sought records on Ohio’s membership status and amid Kasich’s negotiations with governors of both parties on compromises on issues, including health care, immigration and guns.

A spokesman cited Kasich’s “great working relationship and friendship” with the association’s chairman, Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, as important to the renewal.