Gavel Grab

Ohio GOP Ad Calls Judicial Dem. Candidate ‘Sympathetic to Rapists’

A new ad released Wednesday by the Ohio Republican Party claims that Democratic Supreme Court candidate Bill O’Neill “sympathizes with rapists.” Republican Justice Robert Cupp has tried to distance himself from the ad and claimed he had no knowledge of its content, the Ohio Plain Dealer reports.

Mark Weaver, spokesman for Cupp’s campaign, said “Justice Cupp does not believe the purported ad is an appropriate approach to judicial campaigning, which is why he has not and would not approve a commercial like this.”

Matthew Henderson of the Ohio Republican Party confirmed that the ad was not brought to Justice Cupp’s attention beforehand, and that the party was doing it for themselves.

Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jerid Kurtz argues that the “video is not possible without the consent of the campaign.” The ad refers to an opinion O’Neill wrote in 2000 which reversed a rape conviction, the article says.

State Democrats are demanding that the video be taken down, and that Justice Cupp apologize, an Associated Press article says. O’Neill has declared that Cupp “should be ashamed of the video.”

Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern called it a new low for Cupp and the Republican party in a race that is still considered anyone’s game.

According to the article, the Ohio State Bar Association has called for jurists not to be attacked over controversial decisions in past elections.

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