Cordray May Return To Ohio To Run For Governor


UPDATED: Thursday January 31, 2013 1:55 PM

Two Democratic operatives close to former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray predict he will return to Ohio to run for governor.

Cordray is currently the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington.  Cordray took the helm of the agency through a recess appointment by President Obama.

His term expires at the end of the year, unless he wins Senate approval.  A court ruling earlier this year has also raised questions about the validity of Cordray's position.

Republicans blocked Cordray's appointment in late 2011, insisting the agency create a bipartisan commission.  Sen. Mike Crapo said many of his GOP colleagues will continue to oppose his appointment.

According to one Democratic operative, Cordray will return to Ohio "sooner than later" to begin a campaign for governor.  

"Technically he has until December, but he'll want to get started much sooner,"  the operative told 10TV.

A second Democratic source said Cordray laid the groundwork for a bid prior to leaving for Washington.  He is backed, according to the operative, by the United Auto Workers and other labor groups.

"Our expectation is that Rich will go through the confirmation hearing, but ultimately will not be confirmed," said the operative. "He will then return to the state and do what he said in 2010, run for governor."

If Cordray returns, it will likely be with the support of the president, the Democratic operative said. Cordray was one of the few top Democrats in Ohio in 2008 who supported Obama over Hillary Clinton in the primary.

In a December 2010, interview on Capitol Square, Cordray made it clear he wanted to seek the state's top office.  

"I do expect and want to be a candidate for office in four years," Cordray said.  

When asked if he would like to be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2014, Cordray responded, "That certainly could be, I would be interested in that."

"If Rich comes back with blessings from the White House, that will clear the field," the operative said

Several other Democrats are exploring a bid for governor, including Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, former congresswoman Betty Sutton and Congressman Tim Ryan.

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