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Veteran Ohio lawmaker plans to seek GOP presidential nod

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. John Kasich, a ninth-term Republican from Ohio known for his zeal as a budget-cutter, said Sunday he has decided to take the first step toward running for his party's 2000 presidential nomination.

Kasich, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," said he will file papers Monday with the Federal Election Commission to set up a presidential exploratory committee.Kasich, 46, stressed his blue-collar origins as the son of a mailman and said he is running because "I think we need to renew the spirit that everyday people can move America. I'm a different kind of a politician, particularly in my party, and I'm going to try to build a better America."

Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Kasich has sometimes created friction within his own party because of his adamant support for smaller government, budget cuts and reduced taxes. He is a leading advocate of a plan for a 10 percent across-the-board tax rate cut.

"I like to have fun, I have a lot of good ideas, I have a proven track record, and you know, what it comes down to, I'm just a little different, a little fresher than a lot of the politicians today," Kasich said. "It's time for our generation to step up to the plate and make the big changes for America."