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Supreme Court Justice Becomes Fifth Democrat To Announce Run For Governor

Kabir Bhatia
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill made his announcement at the Chagrin Falls Township Hall.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill has announced he’ll be filing to run for Governor next year – on one condition.  From Ohio Public Radio station WKSU, Kabir Bhatia reports.

O’Neill – a registered nurse and former reporter – said he finally knows “what he wants to be when he grows up” in announcing his intention to file in February.  Speaking in front of about 60 people at the Chagrin Falls Township Hall yesterday, he laid out his vision for Ohio: reopening the state’s mental health facilities, legalizing and taxing marijuana, and building a high-speed rail line from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati.

O’Neill says those are the issues Democrats need to talk about, and he’s not worried about his sometimes testy relationship with party leadership. “If you look at the results of the primary in 2012 – I won 87 out of 88 counties in the Democratic Primary.  Grassroots Democrats support me in everything I do.”

O’Neill – the lone Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court – turned 70 in May, making him ineligible to run for another term.  He says he plans to step down from the bench in February – 11 months early – to run, except, “if Richard Cordray runs – I’m out.”

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