WASHINGTON (UPI) — Just one day before Republican front-runner Donald Trump is expected to speak in West Chester Township, Ohio, former House Speaker John Boehner endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the GOP presidential nomination.

In fact, the former representative — an Ohioan — told a group at a dinner Saturday, he already voted for Kasich, Cincinnati.com reported.

Republicans in Butler County honored Boehner for his congressional service on Saturday three days before residents across Ohio’s 8th District are expected to vote on his replacement in Congress.

“He is my friend,” Boehner said of Kasich, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The two served together as members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1990s.

Boehner, who retired from Congress in the fall, had remained publicly neutral in the presidential race until Saturday, though he had urged former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to enter the race. Bush dropped out of the race last month.

Kasich has racked up his share of newspaper endorsements, as well, more than any other Republican candidate.

The New York Times praised him as “the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience,” and the Detroit Free Press described him as “a rational and mature elected official, a canny politician who has shown a willingness to break step with Republican ranks in service of the people he has been elected to represent.

A Washington Post-Pew Center survey in 2012 found , though, that 73 percent of voters said newspaper endorsements don’t make a difference in how they vote.

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