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Is O'Neill Going Back On Cordray Promise In Governor's Race?

Bill O'Neill
Bill O'Neill

The entry of Richard Cordray into the Democratic primary for governor raises questions about what Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill will do now.

O’Neill, who last month came under fire for his controversial Facebook posts outlining his personal sex life, is waiting to see what Cordray does before deciding on whether to run.

O’Neill said in January he intended to enter the governor’s race, but he also said this.

“If Richard Cordray is running, I’m not running," O'Neill said.

Now the former Ohio Attorney General and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief is running. But O’Neill says he’s not dropping out until he’s assured Cordray will work to legalize marijuana, something Cordray wasn’t willing to talk about at his announcement.

“I don’t have anything much to say about that today,” Cordray said.

So O’Neill says he’s staying in the race right now, but will announce a final decision Friday.

“This is not my first rodeo," O'Neill said. "I guarantee you the Ohio Democratic Party has polling that shows I am leading right now. Guaranteed.”

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper says he’s unaware of any such polling.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.