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O’Neill lacks endorsement needed to speak at party event

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A Democratic gubernatorial candidate is bristling over not being allowed to speak during a party-sponsored political event, something the Ohio Democratic Party says wouldn't have been fair to several rivals in the race.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill says he asked to address volunteers during Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County's kickoff Sunday of the party's statewide coordinated campaign but was rebuffed.

Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis said only endorsed candidates are speaking at the regional kickoff events. Their role is to energize volunteers. The party has not endorsed anyone in its crowded gubernatorial primary.

Steven Dettelbach and state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, candidates for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, were speakers at Sunday's Cleveland-area event. Neither has a primary.

O'Neill participated in the Democratic gubernatorial debate last week.

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