Ohio governor race: Who is Richard Cordray?


For all but four of the past 28 years, Republicans have held a firm grip on the Ohio governor’s office. Democrat Richard Cordray wants to break that streak.

>> WATCH the full Ohio governor’s debate here

Less than a year ago, Cordray jumped into the race for Ohio governor, elbowed out other contenders and grabbed 62.2 percent of the vote in a six-way primary.

He is running for governor against Republican Mike DeWine.

RELATED: Who is Mike DeWine?

Cordray, now 59, has been on the statewide ballot six times, winning three times: state treasurer in 2006, state attorney general in 2008 and party nomination for governor in 2018.

DAYTON DEBATE: How to watch, listen and follow Sept. 19 debate

From January 2012 to November 2017, he led the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a post that boosted his national profile but prohibited him from engaging in politics.

On the campaign trail, Cordray says he will focus on the opioid crisis, supporting small businesses and workers and education.

RELATED: Dayton to host first governor debate

He has pledged to reduce standardized testing, eliminate for-profit charter schools and expand access to quality early childhood care; deal with the opiate crisis by declaring a state of emergency, continuing Medicaid expansion and boosting money for prevention and treatment.

Here’s a few things to know about him:

Education: Cordray holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from Oxford University, and law degree from University of Chicago. After law school, he clerked for two U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Family: Cordray and his wife Peggy have twins, Holly and Daniel. The family lives in Grove City.

Running mate: Betty Sutton is a former U.S. representative from Barberton near Akron. She also served in city and county government. In 2013, President Obama appointed her to head the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

Endorsements: Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Nan Whaley, and unions including FOP Ohio and Ohio Education Association.

Fun fact: Cordray is a five-time Jeopardy! game show champion. His campaign is embracing his nerdy side with a website, RichKnowsOhio.com, that features Cordray answering Ohio trivia, and the Cordray team put out digital ads of the candidate reading and responding to ‘mean Tweets.’

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