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Rich Cordray Dances Around Question Of Running For Governor

Rich Cordray speaking
Richard Cordray wasn't biting when reporters pressed him on his gubernatorial aspirations.

Political insiders largely expect Rich Cordray, former Ohio attorney general and the current head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to run for Ohio governor next year. But reporters weren't able to get anywhere with him in a conference call on Wednesday.

The weekly conference call began, as it always does, with Sen. Sherrod Brown introducing his guest and the topic and reporters often going completely off that topic.

In this case, at least, they stayed with Cordray, the man many speculate would be the strongest Democrat running for governor. The first question for Cordray asked if he was planning on running for governor. 

“I don’t have any comment on that today, I’m here to discuss the arbitration rule…,” Cordray said.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill was looking at entering the governor's race early next year, but he was asked last week if he would avoid a race that included Cordray. 

“I was contacted by a mutual friend with Richard Cordray last week and they wanted to be very clear on whether or not my original commitment was still valid," O'Neill said. "And that was that if Richard Cordray is in the race for governor, I am out of the race for governor. And that is still the case."

Back at the conference call, reporters accommodated Cordray's initial response. Questions followed about arbitration, healthcare and overtime rules.

And another pass, this time at Brown.

“What do you think Richard Cordray would bring to the governor’s race?"

“I’m going to comment on that as extensively as Rich did. Sorry.”

A quick question about NAFTA. And then one last try.

“Other questions?” Brown asked. “Not unless you want to endorse Cordray for governor," a reporter responded.

But he didn’t.