John Kasich speaks during a town hall-style campaign stop at the Crowne Plaza on April 19, 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Two Paths America will push for conservative causes and political bridge building

It is unclear if Kasich will go so far as challenging Trump in a 2020 GOP primary

Washington CNN  — 

Just three weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, associates of former Republican primary rival John Kasich are already positioning him as the GOP’s Trump alternative, launching a new political organization to champion his campaign themes – from political tolerance to fiscal discipline.

The organization, called Two Paths America, will push for a balanced budget amendment, strong national defense and political bridge building.

“We believe there is more that brings us together than divides us, and that when we do come together, when we unite, America always wins,” the homepage of the group’s new website reads.

Two Paths America is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit political organization. It will advocate for policy and ideas and be run by longtime Kasich aides like John Weaver and Chris Schrimpf, but the Ohio governor will not technically be involved. However, Kasich’s campaign apparatus, Kasich for America, continues to exist as well as his Super PAC, New Day for America.

Kasich was one of the last of the 17 Republican presidential candidates to drop out of the race, despite only winning one GOP primary – that of his home state.

His moderate brand of Republicanism failed to catch on in a year when GOP voters were instead attracted to a firebrand first-time politician.

Unlike other former Trump rivals, Kasich never got on board with his candidacy. Instead, he focused on helping candidates in down-ballot races.

When Trump officially became the GOP nominee, Kasich boycotted the Cleveland Republican convention, despite being Ohio’s governor.

Now, Kasich is halfway through his second and final term, and the 64-year-old is trying to chart a path for a potential run.

In addition to this new political organization, Kasich has a book coming out this spring with the same theme, “Two Paths: America Divided or United,” and he plans what an associate called an “aggressive book tour.”

He is also trying to keep active on the world stage. Aides note that he will travel next week to Germany with Arizona Sen. John McCain as part of the delegation to the Munich Security Conference and recently penned an op-ed in a German newspaper about the need to protect international alliances like NATO.

It is unclear if Kasich will go so far as challenging Trump in a 2020 GOP primary. What is clear is that Kasich wants to be prepared, just in case.