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Richard Cordray Will Step Down As Head Of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Richard Cordray
Steve Helber
Associated Press
Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB, speaks during a panel discussion in 2015.

Richard Cordray will step down as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, possibly setting up a much-anticipated run for Ohio governor.

“As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here,” Cordray said in a message to employees.

The CFPB, which was created to regulate banks and other financial institutions, has beenlong targeted by Republicans. Cordray took up the agency's helm in 2013.

After months of speculation, Cordray’s resignation could mean a shake-up in the Democratic race for Ohio governor is imminent.

Cordray, the former Ohio treasurer and attorney general, was prevented by his federal post from even addressing speculation that he would run for governor next year. He would join a field that already has four official candidates: Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former Rep. Betty Sutton, former state rep. Connie Pillich and Dayton mayor Nan Whaley.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill announced his attention to run, as well, but didn’t officially declare his candidacy and said he would step aside if his friend Cordray decided to run.

If Cordray leaves by the end of November and declares his candidacy, he could be vetted in time to join the next Democratic debate, which is scheduled for December 4 in Cleveland.