Cordray’s Ohio run draws mixed reaction
Federal consumer chief Richard Cordray’s expected entry into the race for Ohio governor is bolstering many Democrats’ hopes for winning back some control in the bellwether state, even as others see his decision to resign the post as a negative for the party nationally.
Cordray, 58, resigned as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday, with an exit date before the end of November. He was one of the few Barack Obama-era holdovers in the administration of Republican President Donald Trump.
Cordray continued to decline comment on his political future when reached by The Associated Press on Wednesday. He has until Feb. 7 to declare his candidacy.
His likely addition to the race is viewed by many as improving Democratic chances to take back the governorship two-term Gov. John Kasich won for the GOP in 2010. The 2016 presidential contender is term-limited.
Already, a sitting congressman and three high-profile state officeholders are running on the Republican side.
Cordray has more statewide experience and name recognition than the five other Democrats running for the job. He also has ties to former President Obama.
“I know a lot of people who said they were remaining on the fence to see if Rich got into the race,” said Jerry Austin, a retired Cleveland-based Democratic strategist. “I know a few people who made a commitment to another person in the race, but told them they’d shift over to Rich if he got in.”
But that was months ago, Austin said, and the other campaigns are now well on their way with policy platforms, debates under their belts and money in the bank.