Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on Monday laid the groundwork for his possible return to Ohio politics, giving a an impassioned speech about inequality and his agency’s work.
The speech at an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati took place amid building speculation that Mr. Cordray, a Democrat appointed by President Barack Obama, will soon leave the CFPB to run for governor of his home state, a move that could have a significant impact on the agency’s regulatory agenda.
In his speech, Mr. Cordray didn’t discuss whether he planned to run for office or how long he intended to stay at the CFPB—subjects he hasn’t addressed publicly.
Instead, he used the occasion to tell a major Democratic constituency about what he has done in Washington since becoming director of the newly created CFPB in 2012: protecting consumers by strengthening mortgage rules, taking action against student-loan companies and ensuring access to credit.
“I have continued to fight for you and for all American consumers,” Mr. Cordray said. “That…