Democrats’ rule bars unendorsed candidate from speaking


COLUMBUS (AP) — A Democratic gubernatorial candidate is bristling over being barred from speaking during a party-sponsored political event.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill tells The Associated Press he was kept from addressing volunteers during Cuyahoga County’s kickoff Sunday of the Ohio Democratic Party’s statewide coordinated campaign. He said two other statewide candidates spoke.

A party spokeswoman said only endorsed candidates are being allowed to speak at the regional kickoff events. The party hasn’t endorsed anyone in its contested governor’s primary.

O’Neill accused the party of “a rerun of Bernie 2016.” He referred to favoritism national Democrats showed Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the presidential race.

O’Neill was Ohio Democrats’ only statewide elected official until recently. He said that should have earned him the right to speak.