After seemingly never-ending speculation and months and months and months of rumors, it finally became official on Tuesday – former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray is running for Ohio governor.
Cordray officially launched his campaign on Tuesday morning in an appearance at Lilly’s Kitchen Table, a restaurant in Grove City, Ohio.
I’m here at my favorite hometown place - Lilly’s Kitchen Table in Grove City - to announce my candidacy for governor of Ohio. My focus is on the kitchen table issues that people and families face across the state. Bummed if they don’t let me eat anything, though! #KitchenTable pic.twitter.com/nx7wcN86J2— Rich Cordray (@RichCordray) December 5, 2017
Cordray’s five-year term as CFPB director was due to expire next year, but speculation about his future plans began last year, then heated up when President Donald Trump took office and kicked into high gear in the last six months.
Cordray, a Democrat, came to the CFPB from Ohio, serving as Ohio Attorney General from 2009 to 2011. Here is his interview with HousingWire from that time.
Cordray’s tenure as CFPB director was nothing if not controversial. While at the CFPB, Cordray led the bureau’s financial regulatory efforts, levying massive fines and securing massive settlements against financial services companies, as well as leading the charge to change numerous financial regulations.
But now, Cordray is gone from the CFPB, having resigned just after Thanksgiving, leaving the agency in a bit of a chaotic state.
Cordray promoted his chief of staff Leandra English to serve as acting director of the CFPB to “ensure a smooth transition,” but President Donald Trump didn’t agree with Cordray’s pick, or his right to choose this replacement.
Trump nominated Mick Mulvaney, who currently serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget and has long been outspoken about his dislike for the CFPB, as the acting director just hours later.
While the fight over who’s in charge of the CFPB continues, Cordray is leaving that drama behind and returning to his home state to run for governor.
On his newly launched Twitter account, Cordray said his focus is on “the kitchen table issues that people and families face across the state.”
Cordray also tweeted: “Off and running for governor. Feels good! Like a dog that’s shaken off its muzzle. Much to do for our Great State of Ohio.”
Cordray’s path to Ohio governor is far from clear. In fact, his path to the Democratic nomination is hardly secure. Cordray is now the sixth Democrat to declare their intention to run for governor. There are also three Republicans running for governor as well.
Corday’s campaign website is fairly barebones in these early stages, but the website does lay out Cordray’s mission statement for his campaign.
“I’m running for Governor because the system isn't working for Ohio families,” Cordray’s website states. “That must change. Throughout my career in public service, I've fought on behalf of families and consumers — holding Wall Street accountable and cracking down on fraudsters that rip people off. Together we will create a level playing field for all Ohioans — and elect a Governor the middle class can count on.”