Six months after officially launching his campaign to be the next governor of Ohio, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray secured the Democratic nomination with a sizable victory over former member of the House of Representatives and former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.
In fact, according to Ballotpedia, Cordray more than doubled Kucinich’s vote total in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Ohio, finishing with more than 62% of the vote.
Cordray’s victory in the Democratic primary sets the stage for a showdown with Republican Mike DeWine, who won the Republican primary with nearly 60% of the vote.
DeWine is a former U.S. Senator, member of the House of Representatives, and the current attorney general in Ohio.
Cordray and DeWine have faced off in an election before, with Cordray on the losing end. Cordray served as Ohio attorney general from 2009 to 2011, but was replaced by DeWine, who defeated Cordray to become Ohio attorney general in 2010.
Now, they’ll face off again for governor.
And DeWine will do so with the support of President Donald Trump, who took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to congratulate DeWine on his victory over Mary Taylor, who currently serves as Ohio’s lieutenant governor.
Trump appears bullish on DeWine as a potential governor. But his feelings for Cordray are not quite as sunny.
Trump doesn’t name Cordray specifically. Instead, he refers to DeWine’s opponent as a “socialist” and states that DeWine’s opponent was a “big failure” in his last job, clearly intimating that he views Cordray’s tenure at the CFPB as a “failure.”
Congratulations to Mike Dewine on his big win in the Great State of Ohio. He will be a great Governor with a heavy focus on HealthCare and Jobs. His Socialist opponent in November should not do well, a big failure in last job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
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.
Cordray’s term as CFPB director was due to end this year anyway, but Trump reportedly considered firing him, even going so far as to reportedly discuss firing Cordray with several House Republicans during the signing of a resolution to overturn the CFPB’s controversial arbitration rule.
Some in that room reportedly suggested that firing Cordray would turn him into a “martyr,” allowing Cordray and the Democrats to use Cordray’s firing as a springboard to a successful run for Ohio governor.
Trump didn’t end up firing Cordray, and he left the CFPB on his own. But Trump’s feelings on Cordray are clear.
As are Cordray’s feelings for Trump. After Trump tweeted about the Ohio governor’s race, Cordray responded, citing the amount of money the CFPB claims to have returned to consumers during his tenure.
Very telling that you think $12 billion dollars back to 30 million consumers is a failure, @realdonaldtrump. I never backed down from you or Wall Street. All your name calling won’t stop me from fighting those who want to cheat Ohio families, unlike @MikeDeWine. https://t.co/eqfGWNePxO
— Rich Cordray (@RichCordray) May 9, 2018
Now, the table is set for Cordray versus DeWine, part 2. Ohioans will go to the polls on Nov. 6, 2018 to pick their next governor. We’ll see then if Cordray’s time at the CFPB propels him into the governor’s mansion or if DeWine defeats him once again.