William O'Neill (Ohio Jurist)
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William O'Neill Ohio Jurist
Bill O'Neill
William O'Neill (Ohio jurist) 2006-10-03.jpg
Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

January 2, 2013 - January 26, 2018
Robert Cupp
Mary DeGenaro
Judge of the Ohio Eleventh District Court of Appeals

February 9, 1997 - June 30, 2007
Joseph E. Mahoney
Timothy P. Cannon
Personal details
William Michael O'Neill

(1947-05-06) May 6, 1947 (age 72)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationOhio University (BA)
Cleveland State University (JD)

William Michael O'Neill (born May 6, 1947) is an American lawyer, judge and political figure. He was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2012, for a term beginning January 2013. He served as an appellate judge on the Ohio Eleventh District Court of Appeals for 10 years. Twice, O'Neill was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative in Ohio's 14th congressional district. He announced on October 29, 2017 as a candidate for Ohio Governor in the 2018 election. On December 8, 2017, he announced he would resign from the Supreme Court on January 26, 2018. In his retirement, O'neal resides in northeast Ohio in an upscale neighborhood where he regularly sees visitors for dinner and political discourse among other topics. [1]

Education and military service

O'Neill graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1965 and Ohio University in 1969, at which point he joined the U.S. Army. He earned the Bronze Star in Vietnam and retired from the military in 2001 as a lieutenant colonel in the Ohio National Guard. With the help of the G.I. Bill, O'Neill graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1980.[2] He also graduated from Huron School of Nursing as a registered nurse.[3][4]

Political campaigns

1996 Ohio Court of Appeals campaign

In 1996, O'Neill won a seat on the Ohio Eleventh District Court of Appeals with about 50% of the vote.[5][6] He served from 1997 to 2007, when he resigned to run for Congress.[2]

2004 Ohio Supreme Court campaign

In a 2004 special election to finish the term of an Ohio Supreme Court justice who resigned, O'Neill lost to Terrence O'Donnell by 21%.[7]

Candidate Party Notes Votes Percentage
Terrence O'Donnell Republican Incumbent 2,560,609 60.50%
William O'Neill Democratic 1,860,801 39.50%

2006 Ohio Supreme Court campaign

In 2006, O'Neill ran against O'Donnell again for a full-term on the Ohio Supreme Court. O'Neill lost again, by over 17%.[8]

Candidate Party Notes Votes Percentage
Terrence O'Donnell Republican Incumbent 1,903,702 58.67%
William O'Neill Democratic 1,341,258 41.33%

2008 Congressional campaign

O'Neill lost in his 2008 bid for Ohio's 14th congressional district seat to incumbent Steve LaTourette by nearly 20%.[9]

Candidate Party Notes Votes Percentage
Steve LaTourette Republican Incumbent 188,488 58.32%
William O'Neill Democratic 125,214 38.74%
David Macko Libertarian 9,511 2.94%[10]

2010 congressional campaign

On February 6, 2010, O'Neill announced that he would be running again as the Democratic nominee for Ohio's 14th congressional district against LaTourette. O'Neill stated during his campaign his desire to expand the Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit rail system.[11][12][13] O'Neill lost the election by over 33%.[14]

Candidate Party Notes Votes Percentage
Steve LaTourette Republican Incumbent 149,878 64.92%
William O'Neill Democratic 72,604 31.45%
John Jelenic Libertarian 8,383 3.63%

2012 Ohio Supreme Court campaign

In 2012, for the third time, O'Neill ran for the Ohio Supreme Court. He won a two-way primary against Fanon Rucker, a judge on the Hamilton County Municipal Court. O'Neill received 72% of the vote and carried all but one of Ohio's 88 counties. In the general election, O'Neill defeated incumbent Robert Cupp by four percent.[15] O'Neill ran on a budget of just $4000 from his personal funds, a campaign he called "no money from nobody" and that was highlighted in a You Tube video with his twin sons.

Candidate Party Notes Votes Percentage
William O'Neill Democratic 2,040,043 52%
Robert Cupp Republican Incumbent 1,860,801 48%

2018 Ohio gubernatorial campaign

On October 29, 2017, O'Neill announced that he would join the Democratic primary for Ohio governor. During his announcement, he laid out a platform of minimum wage increases, tax incentives for solar power, mental health care expansion and marijuana legalization in Ohio.[16] Less than a week later he announced that he will recuse himself from new Supreme Court cases and will resign by the February 7, filing deadline due to potential ethical conflicts.[17]


On November 17, 2017, O'Neill stirred controversy by posting on Facebook regarding allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Senator Al Franken. He referred to those calling for Franken to resign as "dogs of war" and decried a "national feeding frenzy" against age-old sexual indiscretions. O'Neill went on to claim that he had been in sexual relationships with approximately fifty women.[18] In response to these posts, his communications director resigned from his campaign.[19] Multiple state officials, including Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor,[20] former state representative and fellow gubernatorial candidate Connie Pillich,[21]Dayton mayor and fellow gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley,[19] and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor,[22] criticized O'Neill's comments, with Pillich and Whaley calling for him to resign from his position as associate justice.[23] O'Neill initially called for his critics to "lighten up", saying that he intended to "elevate the discussion" on sexual assault.[24] However, on November 19, he issued an apology for his remarks.[25]

Professional life

O'Neill worked as a civil rights lawyer, small business owner, and union organizer. He is a registered nurse in the pediatric emergency department at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Richardson, Seth A (December 8, 2017). "Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill will resign Jan. 26". cleveland.com.
  2. ^ a b c Meet Bill | O Neill '08 for Congress
  3. ^ a b Marshall, Aaron (November 8, 2012). "Ohio Supreme Court candidate who shunned donations ends up victorious". The Plain Dealer.
  4. ^ a b Wendel, Kim (November 11, 2012). "Chagrin Falls: Veterans honored on Veteran's Day". WKYC.
  5. ^ Alcorn, William K. (November 6, 1996). "Campbell's wins Logan's unexpired term". The Vindicator.
  6. ^ The Plain Dealer, November 6, 1996 - APPEALS COURT JOB GOES TO O'NEILL
  7. ^ "Elections & Voting". Justice of the Supreme Court - Unexpired Term: November 2, 2004. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Elections & Voting". Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Term beginning January 1, 2007: November 7, 2006. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "Elections & Voting: Representative to Congress: November 4, 2008". U.S. Representative - District 14. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ FEDERAL ELECTIONS 2008. Federal Elections Commission. Washington, DC. July 2009
  11. ^ "Bill O'Neill announces another run against U.S. Rep. LaTourette » Local News » The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio". Starbeacon.com. 2010-02-06. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "VIDEO : OhioDaily Interviews 14th Congressional Candidate Bill O'Neill | OhioDaily". Ohiodailyblog.com. 1999-02-22. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Home | Bill O'Neill for Congress | 2010". Oneill.publishpath.com. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Elections & Voting: Representative to Congress: November 2, 2010". U.S. Representative - District 14. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ "Election results 2012: Votes for Ohio Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges". Cleveland.com (Associated Press). November 12, 2012.
  16. ^ "Democratic Ohio justice Bill O'Neill launches governor run". WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports. 2017-10-29. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Justice running for governor removes himself from future cases". The Blade. 2017-11-03. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Top US judge pilloried for sexual boasts". BBC News. 2017-11-17. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b WHIO Breaking News Staff (November 17, 2017). "Justice Bill O'Neill posts sexual history on Facebook". WHIO-TV. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ Heisig, Eric (November 17, 2017). "Ohio Supreme Court chief justice condemns Bill O'Neill's Facebook post on sexual escapades". Cleveland.com.
  21. ^ "Connie Pillich on Twitter". Twitter. November 17, 2017.
  22. ^ "Mary Taylor on Twitter". Twitter. November 17, 2017.
  23. ^ Richardson, Seth A. (November 17, 2017). "Bill O'Neill on his sexually-charged Facebook post: 'Lighten up folks'". cleveland.com.
  24. ^ Richardson, Seth A. (November 18, 2017). "Bill O'Neill offers apology for Facebook post describing past sexual encounters". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Ohio governor candidate issues second apology for remarks about sexual history". The Hill. November 19, 2017. Retrieved 2017.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Cupp
Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Mary DeGenaro

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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