Ohio Governor John Kasich has been laying the groundwork for months in preparation to launch a 2016 presidential campaign. As far as polling goes, he’s near the bottom in the Republican field but does get high marks in his home state, something which may set him apart from other GOP governors in the race, such as Chris Christie or Bobby Jindal.

Report from Politico:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will jump into the crowded Republican presidential field on July 21 at the student union at his alma mater, The Ohio State University, in Columbus, advisers tell POLITICO.

Kasich, 63, who was overwhelmingly reelected in November, will aim to appear less scripted and guarded than the leading candidates. Advisers say he combines establishment appeal with a conservative record going back to his stint as House Budget Committee chairman, during his 18 years as a congressman from Ohio.

Despite his late start, Kasich will be one of the most closely watched candidates — partly because Ohio is such a crucial presidential state, putting Kasich on many short lists for vice president.

Kasich briefly pursued a presidential bid in the 2000 cycle, but got no traction and dropped out in July 1999, endorsing then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Kasich’s biggest appeal is that he hails from a must-win state, one which will be crucial if Republicans have a chance at taking the White House. Kasich’s biggest challenge will be getting on the debate stage. In national polls, he’s sitting at less than two percent on average.