Richard Cordray, whose resignation as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sparked a battle over the agency's leadership, plans to announce on Tuesday he's running for Ohio governor as a Democrat.
Cordray has scheduled an event at a diner in his suburban Columbus hometown of Grove City, and an adviser said he plans to announce his candidacy before embarking on state tour to meet with party activists, community leaders and voters to discuss his vision for the state.
Ohio Democrats have been expecting to Cordray to join the race after he resigned from the consumer bureau Nov. 24 and named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as acting director. President Donald Trump picked Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to be the interim leader, leading to a fight for agency control. A federal judge rejected a request to temporarily block the move.
Cordray is a former attorney general of Ohio who lost a bid for re-election in 2010 and also previously served as the state's treasurer, solicitor general and as a state representative. Ohio's current governor, Republican John Kasich, can't seek re-election when his second term ends in early 2019.
The former agency director would join a crowded Democratic primary field, with four other candidates who have announced and are scheduled to appear in their third debate without Cordray on Monday night in Cleveland.
The Ohio Republican Party isn't waiting and has been issuing press releases for weeks criticizing "crooked Cordray."
There's a potential primary on the Republican side as well, featuring established Ohio party officeholders and U.S. Representative Jim Renacci, who is running as a political outsider with the theme of "putting Ohio first" akin to Trump's "make America great again."
Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced last week that Secretary of State Jon Husted was dropping his bid for governor and becoming his running mate as a lieutenant governor candidate. Mary Taylor, Kasich's running mate and the current lieutenant governor, is also running for the Republican nomination.