Despite calls by the Plain Dealer, the Tribune Chronicle, and the Akron Beacon Journal to either resign his justiceship or end his gubernatorial bid on grounds that his candidacy violates Ohio’s Code of Judicial Conduct, the Columbus Dispatch reports that State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill still refuses to do so, claiming he’s “not officially a candidate.” The only problem: O’Neill’s own website claims that he “announced his campaign for Governor on October 29″ while his official Twitter page’s bio describes O’Neill as both an “Ohio Supreme Court Justice” and a “Candidate for Ohio Governor.”
O’Neill’s highly dubious attempt to have it both ways raises concerns about his ties to another potential Democrat candidate, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. For months, Cordray has faced accusations of Hatch Act violations after it was revealed that a mutual friend reached out to O’Neill to secure his support for Cordray’s potential candidacy. O’Neill had pledged to stay out of the race if Cordray decided to run, but admitted in mid-October that he had “grown impatient waiting for Richard” and announced his bid two weeks later. But now with O’Neill backing away from his candidacy, calling it “not official,” Ohio voters should wonder why he’s wavering.
O’Neill and Cordray are more committed to playing games with the people of Ohio to further their political ambitions than providing solutions to lead the state forward. Neither of them are capable of upholding the public’s trust as Ohio’s next governor.