Republican and Democratic politicians are condemning a Democratic candidate running for Ohio governor after he bragged about having sex with 50 women.
State Supreme Court Judge Bill O’Neill posted on Facebook Friday that he felt it was “time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males” after many people called for Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) resignation over accusations of sexual harassment.
“Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males,” O’Neill wrote Friday. “I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.”
After attempting to defend Franken, O’Neill also claimed that he had sex with about 50 women over the past 50 years.
Republicans and Democrats in Ohio quickly denounced O’Neill’s statement.
“No words can convey my shock,” Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican, told the Washington Post. “This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper called O’Neill’s remarks “terrible,” especially after sexual harassment allegations continue to unfold in politics, Hollywood, and the media.
Just a terrible post by Justice O'Neill. We’re having a serious national conversation about rape culture and sexual harassment, and it’s crucial for men to take time to listen to women and consider their experiences and insights.
— David Pepper (@DavidPepper) November 17, 2017
The post caused such an uproar that O’Neill’s campaign manager announced his resignation from the campaign Friday afternoon.
O’Neill apologized for the post on Saturday, while saying that he does not apologize for bringing up the issue of sexual assault.
“If I offended anyone, particularly the wonderful women in my life, I apologize,” O’Neill wrote on Facebook. “But if I have helped elevate the discussion on the serious issues of sexual assault, as opposed to personal indiscretions, to a new level…I make no apologies.”
He added that people should not put Franken on the same level as Republican U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore.
“Suggesting the admitted conduct of Senator Al Franken and the alleged conduct of Judge Roy Moore are on the same level trivializes the serious subject at hand,” O’Neill added.
It is unclear whether O’Neill will remain in the race for Ohio governor much longer. O’Neill said that he would drop out of the race if Democrat Richard Cordray decides to run, but would not resign from his position on the state supreme court.