Richard Cordray, first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will leave the agency at the end of the month.  Cordray announced his resignation on Wednesday in a letter to CFPB employees.  It has long been rumored that he intends to run for governor of Ohio. Cordray served as acting director for an extended period after the agency was created as Republicans in the Senate announced they would block his confirmation or that of any other nominee to the position.  His appointment was only made official after Senate Democrats reversed a long-standing rule allowing a 51-vote majority for confirmation.

Bloomberg News says the White House had already begun a search for Cordray's successor (there had been widespread discussion that the President was looking for a way to remove Cordray before his term expires in July.) Among those who have been discussed are former Texas congressman Randy Neugebauer and Todd Zywicki, a scholar at George Mason's University's Mercatus Center. 

Congress has been trying to reign in CFPB almost from its inception, claiming that its enforcement tactics have curtailed lending and objecting to the fact it is not subject to congressional funding.  According to Politico, Republicans are floating a handful of agency critics as contenders for the post, including Cordray's biggest foe, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) who recently announced he would not run for reelection. 

Politico says other names that have emerged are Keith Noreika, the outgoing acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, an executive vice president and general counsel at Fannie Mae who worked with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at OneWest Bank, and former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

In his letter to colleagues Cordray said, "It has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here.  Together we have made a real and lasting difference that has improved people's lives."

When asked about CFPB's future on MSNBC this morning, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), whose brainchild CFPB was and who brought Cordray to Washington to help her implement it, said she thought the open directorship would provide the President with an opportunity to keep his campaign promise to help "the little people," by appointing a new director who would continue the agency's mission.

David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, released the following statement regarding the resignation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

"I want to congratulate Director Cordray on a successful tenure at the CFPB. He came into the position during a tumultuous time and was successful in solidifying the role the bureau plays in protecting consumers. As we now pivot to the nomination of a new director, it will be imperative that someone is chosen who can provide a balance between the rulemaking process and the need for clarity and consistency in the direction and guidance given to lenders across the country."