Ohio State Supreme Court Candidates Terrence O’Donnell, Bill O’Neill, Ben Espy, and Robert Cupp photographed during a debate held in the Ohio Statehouse State Room late Wednesday afternoon October 18, 2006.
Ben E. Espy is a Democratic politician who formerly served in the Ohio Senate. A member of Columbus City Council from 1982 to 1992, Espy went on to obtain an appointment to the Ohio Senate after Senator Richard Pfeiffer resigned in 1992. He won election to fill the remainder of the term in 1992, and to a full term in 1994. By 1994, Espy had been chosen to serve as assistant Senate minority leader, and by 1996, he was minority leader. He won a second term in 1998. In 1999, Espy challenged Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman in the Democratic primary for mayor, but lost. He subsequently resigned his minority leader post, and served the remainder of his term in the Senate as a lame duck. Term limited in 2002, he left office and was replaced by Ray Miller. Espy returned to private law practice, and also went on to serve as a special counsel to the Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann. He continues to reside in Columbus, Ohio. He is also a Prince Hall Freemason.
Terrence O’Donnell is an American Justice of the supreme court of the U.S. state of Ohio. He served as a Cuyahoga County, common pleas court judge for 15 years until 1994, when he ran for a seat on the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eighth District against former Ohio Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze. He defeated Celebrezze and served on the Eighth District bench until his resignation to run for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2000 in a failed attempt to unseat Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnik. In 2003, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Deborah L. Cook resigned from the court to accept an appointment by the George W. Bush administration to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Governor Robert A. Taft II then appointed O’Donnell to fill the vacancy, effective May 2003. On November 2, 2004, O’Donnell won a special election, defeating Democrat William M. O’Neill with 61% of the vote, entitling him to finish Cook’s term, which ended in 2006. He won re-election in 2006, again defeating O’Neill by almost 20 points, and was sworn in January 2007 to a full six-year term.
Robert R. “Bob” Cupp is a member of the Ohio House of Representatives and a former Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. He was elected November 7, 2006 to a six-year term and was sworn in on January 2, 2007. His term expired January 1, 2013. Cupp, a Republican, replaced retiring Democratic Justice Alice Robie Resnick by defeating Democrat Ben Espy in the general election. Between his election and the death of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer in 2010, all the Justices of the Court were Republican. Before joining the Ohio Supreme Court, Cupp gained appellate judicial experience as a judge on the Ohio Court of Appeals(Third Judicial District) from 2003 to 2006. Cupp was a member of the Ohio Senate for 16 years, 1985–2000, but was forced to retire due to legislative term limits. He was President Pro-Tem of the Senate from 1997 to 2000, the second highest-ranking leadership position in the Senate. During his time in the Senate, he spent ten years serving on the Judiciary Committee. Cupp was a Lima prosecutor from 1976 to 1980 and was elected Allen County Commissioner twice, from 1981 to 1984 and 2000 to 2002.
William Michael O’Neill 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 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. 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.
On November 17, 2017, O’Neill stirred controversy by posting a Facebook post responding to recent controversy regarding allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Senator Al Franken. He referred to those speaking against Franken as “dogs of war” and decried a “national feeding frenzy” against age-old sexual indiscretions, and he stated that speaking on behalf of all heterosexual males that he been sexually intimate with 50 attractive females in the past fifty years. In response, his communications director resigned from his campaign. Multiple state officials, including Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, former state representative and fellow gubernatorial candidate Connie Tillich, Dayton mayor and fellow gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley, and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, criticized O’Neill’s comments, with Pillich and Whaley calling for him to resign from his position as associate justice. O’Neill refused to apologize, and told his critics to “lighten up.”
Photographed with Canon 1D MkII cameras in RAW mode with L series lenses