As many in Ohio have long suspected, it looks like the Democrats are finally getting their top candidate in the race for Governor to succeed Republican John Kasich in 2018: former state Attorney General Richard Cordray has quit his federal watchdog post at the CFPB.
Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will step down as the head of a consumer watchdog agency by the end of the month and is expected to run for the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced his decision to leave in an email to all bureau staff early Wednesday.
“As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here,” he wrote.
Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Eckart, a Cleveland Democrat, said “several prominent Democrats have told me this morning they expect Cordray to run for governor.”
He added, “Cordray has a very compelling story and is motivated by convictions that will resonate well in Ohio and especially for those voters in Ohio who believe they have been left behind, ripped off, or ignored.”
Joe Rugola, a leading Ohio Democrat and director of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, said, “I fully expect he will at some time very soon be making some kind of an announcement about his intentions and I would be shocked if he didn’t run for governor.
“It absolutely isn’t too late for Rich to enter the race. The test will be to put together a campaign and surround himself with professionals who know what they are doing and raise a significant amount of money in a hurry.”
Former Ohio Democratic Chairman David Leland said he had not yet talked to Cordray about the governor’s race but “he would be a great candidate if he decides to run.”
“I’ve known him for over 25 years,” said Leland, now a state representative. “He always fought for issues that are important to people in the state of Ohio. I think taking his record at the CFPB and using it as a platform to say he’s actually fighting for working families in the state of Ohio would be tremendously successful for him.”
Kasich has overseen Ohio's transformation into a red state garbage fire over the last seven years, spouting nonsense about his "moderate" credentials and doing everything in his power to end legalized abortion in the state, all while plotting to wreck the country with a "balanced budget" amendment to the Constitution that would force massive austerity cuts.
Cordray meanwhile has been running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has already fought for getting billions in dollars back from crooked banks, shady mortgage lenders, predatory payday loan outfits and awful title loan shops. He has a real shot at winning in 2018, especially against somebody as awful as Ohio's current statewide office holders on the Republican side, anti-choice fanatic AG Mike DeWine, voter suppression expert Jon Husted, and Kasich's right hand, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
That's the good news. The bad news is Trump is now going to appoint a new head to the CFPB in order to drive the agency into the ground, screaming. His top choice is current Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Mick Mulvaney once called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “a sad, sick joke.” Now, he may get to oversee Elizabeth Warren’s favorite regulator.
Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director, is being considered for a temporary role as interim director of the consumer watchdog after Richard Cordray steps down later this month, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mulvaney would be expected to name someone else or a team of people to run the CFPB on a day-to-day-basis so he could keep his focus on OMB, said one of the people.
The goal is to hit the ground running in overhauling an agency that some Republicans have called corrupt and that GOP lawmakers widely blame for burdening lenders with unnecessary red tape. It could be months before Trump nominates a permanent CFPB director and the Senate confirms his selection.
Under a federal vacancies law, Trump can replace an outgoing director temporarily with someone from another agency who has already won Senate approval. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also been considered to run the CFPB on a temporary basis, said one of the people who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private.
Cordray would have been forced out eventually, his term would have been up in July 2018 anyway. It would have been nice to get a few more months out of the one federal government agency that was actually not being awful and that Trump hadn't completely ruined yet, but there you go.