Former consumer bureau director Cordray announces run for Ohio governor

Former consumer bureau director Cordray announces run for Ohio governor
© Greg Nash

Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayTrump surprises with consumer agency pick Trump nominates budget official Kraninger to lead consumer bureau Trump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief MORE, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), launched his campaign for Ohio governor Tuesday, two weeks after leaving the financial sector watchdog.

Cordray, a Democrat who served as Ohio’s attorney general before joining the CFPB, announced his candidacy at a diner in his hometown, Grove City, Ohio.

The former CFPB director had long been expected to run, but was barred by federal law from campaigning until he left the bureau. Cordray resigned from the CFPB on Nov. 24, two weeks after announcing his intention to leave.

Cordray cited his experience facing challenging “character builders” as CFPB director, Ohio attorney general and state treasurer in a video announcing his campaign.

It begins with footage of President Obama praising Cordray’s work on behalf of consumers as CFPB director. Cordray then recalls his work as the first director of CFPB, which was opposed by a GOP-controlled Congress.

“Being a voice for regular folks wasn’t easy,” Corday said. “Congress, big banks and then the new administration tried to protect their powerful interests. But we didn’t back down.”

Cordray’s announcement video also includes a clip of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenElection Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy MORE (D-Mass.), the CFPB’s architect, praising Cordray for returning $12 billion to more than 28 million consumers through bureau enforcement actions.

Republican critics of the CFPB accused Cordray of abusing the agency’s expansive power to boost his political profile ahead of an expected gubernatorial run.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump nominates budget official Kraninger for consumer chief | Senate votes to block Trump ZTE deal | Stocks fall on trade tensions | House panel moves to markup budget Bank regulator: Review after Wells Fargo scandal failed to find industry-wide fraud Five ways Mulvaney is cracking down on his own agency MORE (R-Texas) filed a complaint with federal watchdogs this summer, asking them to probe whether Cordray violated laws barring executive branch employees from campaigning. The Office of Special Counsel cleared Cordray of any wrongdoing in October.

The Republican Governors Association, the GOP political arm for gubernatorial races, called the former CFPB director "Washington D.C.'s most power-hungry and least accountable bureaucrat."

"For the last five years, Richard Cordray has led an out-of-control CFPB that has been constantly accused of bureaucratic overreach, resistance to transparency, and partisan political activity," the group said. "Cordray’s record proves that he’s unfit to serve as Ohio’s next governor."