Former CFPB Director Richard Cordray Talks Gubernatorial Candidacy At City Club

Richard Cordray at the City Club of Cleveland [ideastream]

The former head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) returned to Ohio Thursday to discuss his bid for governor.  At the City Club of Cleveland, Richard Cordray said he couldn’t jump into the race earlier because he wanted to complete two major regulations at the CFPB first: rules on arbitration and on payday lending.

“And so I had been all year pushing, pushing, pushing to get certain work done that I thought was important, that we devoted a lot of time and effort to, but at the same time hoping, and hoping that I wouldn’t be too late for the governor’s race,” Cordray said. “It was an excruciating year in that regard.” 

He said kitchen table issues facing Ohioans such as jobs and money will be the focal point of his candidacy. 

“How they stay up at night worrying about paying the bills. How they’re worried about keeping their job or getting a somewhat better job. How they’re worried about affording health care.” Cordray added, “Those will be the things that will be my focus as a candidate for governor because they’ve been my focus steadily for many years.”

During a question and answer session, the former Ohio Attorney General addressed issues affecting the state, including the legislature’s funding for local governments.

“I believe that this state legislature – and I don’t think it’s too strong a term – has been waging war on local governments in this state for years now,” Cordray said. “They have taken money from local governments; they’ve typically wanted to hand it back to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts that often help those who need it the least.” 

He added, the state’s problems can’t be solved by pitting the state against local government. 

Cordray also called the GOP tax reform bill “a terrible deal for America;” he said he would reign in underperforming charter schools; and he called gerrymandering “a nakedly partisan process.”

Five others are also seeking the Democratic nomination including Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, former State Representative Connie Pillich, State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.


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