Richard Cordray, the former head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, won the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio on Tuesday, fending off a challenge from former presidential candidate and House member Dennis Kucinich.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) hand-picked Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, to run the CFPB and raised money for his campaign. Cordray will face Ohio’s current attorney general, Republican Mike DeWine, in the general election race for the governor’s job. Incumbent John Kasich (R) is term-limited.
Kucinich ran heavily on his support of Medicare-for-all and won the support of the progressive group Our Revolution, which grew out of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. (Sanders himself did not endorse Kucinich.)
Kucinich also attacked Cordray for his past support of gun rights, which earned Cordray an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association when he was attorney general. Cordray now supports universal background checks.
Cordray’s campaign fought back with television ads showing former President Barack Obama praising him.
“Rich took on payday lenders, big banks and student loan schemes that profit at your expense,” a female narrator says in the ad. “And he won.”
DeWine defeated Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in $10 million GOP primary that featured both candidates aligning themselves with President Donald Trump.
DeWine is a former U.S. senator who ousted Cordray from the attorney general post in 2010. He begins the race as a slight favorite in a state where Trump scored a nine-percentage-point win in 2016.