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Government & Politics

Ohio Supreme Court Justice O'Neill Considers a Bid for Governor

photo of William O'Neill
Justice O'Neill would have to leave his current job on the Ohio Supreme Court if he ran for governor in 2018.

The only Democrat serving in statewide office says he’ll spend this year deciding if he wants to run for governor next year. 

O’Neill says he’ll make a decision to leave office and run or remain on the bench next January, or if Ohio’s former attorney general and current head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does sooner.

“If Richard Cordray is running, I’m not running because he’s the kind of quality candidate I want to see in the race. But more importantly, I want to see if the Ohio Democratic Party learned anything in 2016.”

O’Neill was sharply critical of the party’s endorsement of Ted Strickland for U.S. Senate before the primary, saying it proved fatal to his campaign. He says the party also needs talk about what he calls real issues for real people. Among the other Democrats mentioned as gubernatorial candidates in 2018 are State Sen. Joe Schiavoni and Congressman Tim Ryan. Republicans considering bids are Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.