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The Latest: Top judge cautions justice on Ohio governor run

October 29, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill’s decision to run for Ohio governor (all times local):


3:25 p.m.

Ohio’s top judge is urging Democratic Justice William O’Neill to use caution in performing his Ohio Supreme Court duties now that he’s announced a run for governor.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor comments came after O’Neill’s announcement Sunday.

She says there is no mechanism for the court to require O’Neill to recuse himself from pending cases, even if they might present a conflict.

The Republican chief justice encouraged the 70-year-old O’Neill to “consider his future course of conduct” in terms of his oath of office and judicial ethics rules. She said both are intended to protect the interests of litigants, trust in the court system and the independence of the judiciary.

O’Neill’s current term expires in January 2019. He says he plans to leave the bench by the Feb. 7 candidate filing deadline.

12:01 p.m.

The lone Democrat holding a state office in Ohio state is joining the governor’s race on a liberal platform of solar power, mental health care and legalized marijuana.

Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill tells The Associated Press the candidacy he’s announcing Sunday in Chagrin Falls pushes back against a Democratic organization that’s become “a party of careful consultants” rather than one of ideas.

The 70-year-old O’Neill must retire from the bench because of age limits when his term ends in January 2019.

He joins a Democratic primary race that includes former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (shuh-VOHN’-ee).

O’Neill had said he wouldn’t run if former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray entered the race, which hasn’t happened.

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