MARIETTA, Ohio (WKBN) – As Ohio Gov. John Kasich walked up the aisle after being introduced at Wednesday night’s State of the State address, he paused, picked up a baby and asked the mother to follow him.
They walked onto the stage of People’s Bank Theatre in Marietta and, as the crowd applauded, Kasich lightly kissed four-month-old Josephine Hagan on the forehead.
Josephine’s mother is Republican State Rep. Christina Hagan, of Alliance. She represents Ohio’s 50th district, which encompasses eastern Stark County.
Kasich and Hagan talked briefly, before the governor handed the baby back to mom, who then returned to their seats.
“Well, I couldn’t resist that baby,” was how Kasich began his speech. “When she gets to be 18 and decides to vote, I will be out of politics. Congratulations on a beautiful baby, and she didn’t even cry.”
Hagan is 27 and is the youngest female ever to serve Ohio’s legislature. She was appointed to the position at age 22.
Since Josephine was born, Rep. Hagan has brought her baby onto the floor during sessions of the Ohio House of Representatives. She said since her baby was born, she has only been apart from her daughter for about five hours.
A Feb. 17, 2016 news release on a school district being honored shows Hagan with Josephine in a baby carrier, posing for a picture in front of the speaker’s chair.
Hagan said she has only spoken to Gov. Kasich on occasion, and when he scooped up her daughter, her motherly instincts kicked in and she wanted to follow him. She said Kasich motioned her on stage, however, and commented on what a beautiful baby she had before returning Josephine.
Hagan said she has had no problems bringing her well-mannered daughter to work. She said that may soon have to end, as her daughter gets older, however.
“She’s been getting a little bit more vocal lately,” she said.