The only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court announced in October that he intends to run for governor next year, but Bill O’Neill now says he won’t leave the bench until January 26. But state lawmakers may try to force him out sooner.
O’Neill had long said he was out of the race if former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray joined it, which he did. But O’Neill says since no candidate has supported legalizing marijuana, he’ll stay in, but he won’t quit the Court until next month.
Republican Senate President Larry Obhof says there’s almost universal agreement that a sitting justice can’t run for a partisan office. “I think basically everybody interprets it the same way except for Justice O’Neill. And there is a very good chance that when we come back in January, we will have a resolution ready to seek his removal from office,” Obhof said.
Republican Gov. John Kasich gets to pick O’Neill’s replacement, and is accepting applications through December 29.