Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Democratic candidate for governor Bill O'Neill raised more than a few eyebrows Friday after he described his sexual history on social media.
In a Facebook post, O'Neill claimed he has been "sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females," including "a gorgeous blonde who was [his] first true love" and "a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland."
O'Neill claimed to be speaking out "on behalf of all heterosexual males" in response to recent allegations of sexual assault made against U.S. Sen. Al Franken and others. The state Supreme Court's lone Democrat added he was "sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago."
However, many of O'Neill's political contemporaries are now speaking out against his remarks, including his colleagues on the state Supreme Court.
“I condemn in no uncertain terms Justice O’Neill’s Facebook post," Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said in a statement. "No words can convey my shock. This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”
Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, one of O'Neill's Democratic candidates for governor, tweeted she was "horrified" by the Facebook post and called on O'Neill to step down from the court.
As an attorney I'm appalled at these remarks of @billforohio, a Justice, as a democrat I'm horrified he would belittle victims of sexual harassment/assault this way and as a woman I'm outraged he would equate sexual assault with indiscretion. He should resign immediately. pic.twitter.com/uPyFsH8Tma— Betty Sutton (@BettySutton) November 17, 2017
Fellow Democratic candidate and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley also called for O'Neill's resignation, tweeting, "Sexual harassment, degrading and devaluing women is not a joke."
Former State Rep. Connie Pillich called O'Neill "a friend" who had donated to her own gubernatorial campaign, but she also called on him to resign, and pledged to donate all of his campaign contributions to women's organizations.
Bill O'Neill has been a friend and he's donated to my campaign, even after declaring his own candidacy for gov.
But there's nothing funny about sexual assault. Justice O'Neill should resign and I will be donating his contributions to orgs helping women.— Connie Pillich (@ConniePillich) November 17, 2017
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni also called for O'Neill to step down, saying the justice "is not speaking 'on behalf of all heterosexual males.'"
This is a ridiculous comment by someone who is supposed to be a professional representing Ohioans on our highest court. It is definitely not reflective of the way I feel as a heterosexual man.— Sen Joe Schiavoni (@JoeSchiavoni) November 17, 2017
Bill O'Neill is not speaking 'on behalf of all heterosexual males.' https://t.co/bNYcL5Bxch
On the Republican side of the race, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor stopped short of calling for O'Neill's resignation but did call the post "crass" and "dismissive at best," adding, "We have to be better than this."
There’s a very serious conversation going on right now in this country about sexual harassment and @BillForOhio's crass post is ill-timed and dismissive at best. We have to be better than this. https://t.co/Ee1p9q9pc0— Mary Taylor (@MaryTaylorOH) November 17, 2017
Prior to today's remarks, O'Neill had previously faced calls to step down from the bench after he announced his candidacy for governor. While O'Neill said he would recuse himself from all new cases, he planned to continue to provide input on the nearly 100 current cases before the court.