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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. Photo: Brennan Linsley / AP

Richard Cordray, the Obama-appointed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said in an email to employees Wednesday that he will step down at the end of the month. The move comes amid speculation that he plans to run on the Democratic ticket for governor of Ohio.

Why it matters: Congressional Republicans have targeted Cordray since he took over the bureau. Now President Trump will have the freedom to appoint a conservative director to take his spot.

He may even choose to dissolve the bureau entirely, which was formed as part of the Dodd-Frank reforms in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

Excerpts from his email to employees:

"Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to share with each of you directly what I have told the senior leadership in the past few days, which is that I expect to step down form my position here before the end of the month.

As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, 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 …

At the same time, there is always more work that lies ahead. That would be true at any point, of course, and one thing I have tried to reinforce this year is that the Consumer Bureau is far more than its director … And I trust that new leadership will see that value also and work to preserve it – perhaps in different ways than before, but desiring, as I have done, to serve in ways that benefit and strengthen our economy and our country."

Go deeper

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.

7 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.