Former Massachusetts Governor to run in Democratic primaries

Deval Patrick officially announces entry into 2020 presidential campaign.

Ben Ariel,

Deval Patrick
Deval Patrick

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Thursday officially announced a late-entry 2020 presidential campaign, less than three months before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, reports CNN.

"In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American Dream for the next generation, I am today announcing my candidacy for President of the United States," Patrick said in a video on his official website.

The announcement is a stark reversal for Patrick, who decided in December 2018 not to run for president, citing in a Facebook post the "cruelty of our elections process" and the impact it would have on those close to him.

Since that decision, however, Patrick has expressed regret for not getting into the race earlier this year and began seriously weighing a presidential campaign weeks ago, according to CNN.

He began telling friends and allies in calls on Wednesday that he had made a decision to join the race, aware of the challenges awaiting his candidacy, yet also seeing promise in the unsettled nature of the primary fight.

In his announcement video, Patrick signaled his intention to offer optimism over strict progressive ideology, presenting himself as a candidate who will strive to unify deep divisions in the country. His words echoed similar strains from several of his new rivals.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat," Patrick said. "But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country."

"This time is about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader, as important as that is, but about delivering instead for you," he added.

Patrick's entry follows the entry of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the race. The changing plans of Patrick and Bloomberg are stinging indictments of the current candidate field, especially former Vice President Joe Biden.

After announcing his bid on Thursday, Patrick traveled to New Hampshire to file his papers for the primary there with the secretary of state's office, his first official step in getting on primary ballots. Patrick described the moment as "extraordinarily humbling, sober and exciting moment all at once."

Patrick later told reporters that Biden's campaign "misses the moment" because it is centered on the idea that "if we just get rid of... the incumbent we can go back to doing what we used to do."

Patrick said Trump successfully made the case in 2016 that "establishment politics isn't working well enough for most people" and that both Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2008 made a similar case that "is still true" to this day.

Patrick's work in the private-sector may create a political hurdle for his candidacy, particularly a job in 2015 he took at Bain Capital. The Boston-based private investment firm that became a liability to the 2012 presidential run of Republican Mitt Romney, another former Massachusetts governor and now a US Senator from Utah.

Even before he made his candidacy official, several liberal activists blasted Patrick's work at the firm. It could hang over him as he is entering a race where frontrunner Democrats have cast wealthy and powerful interests as the enemy of progressive policies.

Patrick last year defended his work at Bain Capital, telling CNN, "I've never taken a job where I've left my conscience at the door, and I haven't started now."