(Reuters) – Richard Cordray, a Democrat whose resignation as head of the U.S. consumer bureau last month triggered a political battle over who should replace him, plans to run for governor of Ohio, an advisor said on Monday.
Cordray will make the announcement at an event on Tuesday at a restaurant in his home town of Grove City, Ohio, said the advisor, who asked to remain anonymous. Cordray will later tour Ohio, meeting with Democratic activists, community leaders and voters, the advisor said.
When he resigned last month, Cordray named his deputy to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But the appointment was mired in turmoil after President Donald Trump assigned White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney to the role.
A federal judge last week sided with Trump, but the deputy, Leandra English, is challenging the decision.
The 2018 election is to replace Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican who cannot seek a third term because of term limits in the pivotal election battleground state. Kasich ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016.
Many Democrats have said Cordray, with his reputation for being tough on banks and defending consumers, is their best hope for taking the Ohio governor’s mansion and chipping away at Republicans’ dominance in state government.
Several candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties announced they would run for Ohio governor, according to local media.
Cordray delivered a campaign-style speech at a Labor Day celebration in Cincinnnati in September, but at the time he stopped short of saying whether he intended to run for governor.
The Ohio native was the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a consumer watchdog agency created under former President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
In Washington, Mulvaney on Monday said he has no intention of firing English.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Hay)