WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown on Monday became the first Senate Republican to endorse the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Brown is facing a reelection challenge from Elizabeth Warren, the bureau's architect and the former special adviser to the Treasury secretary in charge of getting the agency off the ground in its first year.

In a statement emailed Monday night, Brown spokesman John Donnelly said, "The senator supports the Cordray nomination and believes it deserves an up or down vote on the Senate floor."

Cordray, whom Warren picked as the agency's enforcement chief, was nominated by the White House in July. The Senate voted 12-10 on Oct. 6 to send his nomination to the full Senate.

But Senate Republicans reiterated their pledge — outlined in a letter signed by 44 Republicans in May — to block the nomination of a director until changes are made to the CFPB's governance and structure. They want to replace the director with a five-member commission, subject the bureau to the appropriations process and make it easier for a council of regulators to override the bureau's rules.

Brown was one of just three Republicans that did not sign the letter. The endorsement was first reported by the Boston Globe.

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