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WASHINGTON -- Former Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray was nominated by President Obama to a full term as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today.
Mr. Cordray's appointment to a full five-year term took place in the state dining room at the White House with President Obama. Mary Jo White was nominated to head the Securities and Exchange Commission at the same time.
Mr. Cordray has been mentioned frequently as a potential 2014 candidate for the Democratic nomination against Republican Gov. John Kasich, but the appointment likely ends that possibility.
Mr. Cordray, 53, is a former Franklin County treasurer and state represenatative who was elected Ohio Treasurer in 2006. He was elected in 2008 as state attorney general to fill the vacancy created when Democratic Treasurer Marc Dann resigned during a scandal. Mr. Cordray was defeated by Republican Mike DeWine when he sought re-election in 2010.
President Obama said that thanks to Mr. Cordray's leadership it's tougher for people to be "tricked" into mortgages they can't afford.
"We’ve set clearer rules so that responsible lenders know how to operate fairly. We’ve launched a “Know Before You Owe” campaign to help parents and students make smart decisions about paying for college. We’ve cracked down on credit card companies that charge hidden fees, and forced those companies to make things right. And through it all, Richard has earned a reputation as a straight shooter and somebody who’s willing to bring every voice to the table in order to do what’s right for consumers and our economy," Mr. Obama said.
He called on the Senate to confirm Mr. Cordray.
Senate Republicans opposed Mr. Cordray’s nomination in 2011 because of their opposition to the new agency, but President Obama used his recess appointment power in January, 2012, to circumvent Senate opposition. Senate leaders objected, saying they were not in recess at the time of the appointment.
The agency was created in the wake of the 2008 financial debacle that cost Americans billions of dollars in lost pension and mortgage value.
The appointment reduces the chances of him competing for the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio in 2014 because Mr. Cordray is barred from political activity - such as the campaigning and fund-raising that go along with running for governor - as long as he holds the federal position.
-- Tom Troy