Marty Schladen The Columbus Dispatch @martyschladen
News that Richard Cordray will announce his candidacy for governor next week drew mixed reactions from his fellow Democrats in the field.
The Dispatch reported Wednesday that Cordray, fresh off a controversial exit as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, would kick off his campaign next week, although no formal announcement has been made.
Some of the five Democrats already in the field said a Cordray candidacy wouldn’t affect their plans. Some slammed the former Ohio attorney general. One said it might prompt him to get out — or it might not.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, said he’s not surprised that Cordray is getting in the race. The rumors have been swirling since summer, when Schiavoni had already been crisscrossing Ohio for months.
“We’ll see if he relates to people with his Washington background,” Schiavoni said. “While he’s been in Washington thinking about it and going back and forth with Trump, I’ve been here, grinding it out.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley contrasted herself with Cordray, who lost his 2010 bid to be re-elected Ohio attorney general.
“I think the party’s going to have a real choice,” Whaley said. “We can go with the same-ole, same-ole leadership that’s made us lose 24 of the last 28 years instead of reaching out for new leadership from the local level.”
Another candidate, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, was harsh in her assessment of Cordray, who lives in Grove City.
“If, after his chaos-inducing decision to turn consumer protections over to Donald Trump, Richard Cordray plans to run for governor, then Rich should join our field — including the three qualified women candidates already running — on the debate stage Monday night,” Pillich, of Montgomery, said in an email.
The Democrats are scheduled to debate in Cleveland on Monday, but Cordray