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GOP group seeks records to see if Cordray is mulling a governor run

Federal law bars the head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau from campaigning while holding down a public office.

The Republican Governors Association is once again requesting information on whether consumer watchdog Richard Cordray is mulling a run for Ohio governor even as he serves as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The organization announced today that it has sent the CFPB a second Freedom of Information Act request for records that would indicate that Cordray is actively pursuing a run. Doing so would potentially violate the Hatch Act, a law that bars some in the executive branch from participating in political activity while serving.

RELATED: Cordray under fire from GOP, banks

The public records request seeks information including correspondence between Cordray and prominent Democratic operatives in the state; a copy of Cordray’s government-issued cell and office phone records from June 1 through the present and a copy of Cordray’s schedule from June 1 on.

This is the second public records request the organization has made in the last two weeks; earlier in August, the group requested that Cordray turn over all e-mails between his office and a wide variety of people in Ohio, including former Ohio Democratic Chairman David Leland, Democratic fundraiser Melissa Barnhart, Cleveland Plain Dealer political columnist Brent Larkin and GateHouse Media, owners of The Dispatch, The Canton Repository and other Ohio newspapers.

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RELATED: All eyes on Cordray for decision on governor run

The group said they put out the second request after WVXU reported that Cordray discussed the Ohio governor’s race with the chair of the Hamilton County Democratic party.

“Ohioans deserve to know whether Richard Cordray is using his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office for political gain at the expense of taxpayers,” said RGA Communications Director Jon Thompson. “If these new revelations are correct, and Cordray did discuss potential gubernatorial debates with Ohio Democrats, he should admit truthfully what he discussed, if he is engaged in prohibited political activity, and why he is so focused on not doing his job.”

Four Democrats are currently seeking the Democratic nomination in the 2018 race: former state Rep. Connie Pillich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

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