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O’Neill said he would fund the reopening of state mental hospitals with the $300 million annually that he believes would be generated by legal marijuana.
O’Neill was criticized for not resigning from the court when he announced his candidacy on Oct. 29. The Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct requires judges to resign if they enter a partisan race, but O’Neill contends that he would only become a candidate officially when he turns in his nominating petitions by the Feb. 7 deadline.
“I have recused on all future cases, and on Friday I will be announcing my retirement date if my approach is not accepted by Rich,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill, the only Democrat on the state high court, said if he pulls out of the governor’s race he will remain on the bench through the end of his term in 2019. He can not run again due to age limits. If O’Neill resigns early, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, would name his replacement.
O’Neill ignited further controversy and calls for his resignation last month when he posted remarks on Facebook touting his sexual exploits with “50 very attractive females.”
RELATED: O’Neill’s boast of sexual liaisons brings calls for his resignation
He subsequently apologized for the post.
Cordray today brings his “Kitchen Table Tour” of Ohio to Dayton, where one of his other Democratic rivals, Nan Whaley, is mayor.
RELATED: Cordray launches run for governor; holding event in Dayton Wednesday
“On this campaign, I’ll focus on the kitchen table issues that keep families up at night — like the cost of healthcare and college, how to find that better job and how to be able to save for retirement,” Cordray said in a news release issued by his campaign.
Cordray will be at the Old Courthouse in downtown Dayton, 301 W. Third Street, at 12:15 p.m. His tour includes Cincinnati and Toledo today.
The other announced Democratic candidates are former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron.
Candidates on the GOP side include Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who last Thursday announced that Secretary of State Jon Husted would drop his own bid for governor and become DeWine’s lieutenant governor running mate.
RELATED: DeWine-Husted ticket called governor’s race ‘dream team’ by GOP state senator
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor have not yet announced their running mates in the GOP primary.
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