The former head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau returned to Ohio on Thursday to discuss his bid for governor.
At the City Club of Cleveland, Richard Cordray said 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.
“I had been all year 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 ... that I wouldn’t be too late for the governor’s race. It was an excruciating year in that regard," Cordray said.
Cordray said kitchen table issues such as jobs and money will be the focal point of his candidacy. He also addressed issues affecting Ohio including the funding state government provides local governments.
“I believe that this state Legislature ... 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. During a question and answer session, Cordray called the GOP tax reform bill “a terrible deal for America.” Cordray also said he would reign in underperforming charter schools and called gerrymandering “a nakedly partisan process.”
Five others are also seeking the Democratic nomination: former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, former State Rep. Connie Pillich, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill. Cordray previously served as Ohio attorney general and treasurer.