Deval Patrick Tells Democrats He Will Run In 2020 Presidential Race

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Written by Dana Sanchez
Deval Patrick
Former Gov. Deval Patrick said he plans to run for president with a campaign similar to Barack Obama’s, focused on uniting and healing. Patrick, center, greets people on April 2, 2018, in Boston on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told senior Democrats Wednesday that he plans to run for president, and envisions a campaign similar to Barack Obama’s in 2008 with a focus on uniting and healing the country rather than on a particular ideology.

The only African American governor of Massachusetts, Patrick served two terms starting in 2006, succeeding Mitt Romney. Patrick is just the second elected Black governor in U.S. history. His entry in the Democratic race comes when memories are still raw of Andrew Gillum’s close race in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race.

After losing to DeSantis, Gillum’s name came up as a potential presidential candidate. Gillum announced that he would not run for president but instead said he planned to register 1 million new Florida voters. More recently, Gillum’s name has come up as a possible vice presidential running mate for Warren.

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A Harvard Law School graduate, Patrick served under President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 1997 as an assistant attorney general for civil rights.

His entry in the presidential race is a reversal of Patrick’s 2018 decision not to run, New York Times reported. A year ago, Patrick said he’d decided against a campaign, partly due to what he described as the “cruelty of our elections process,” and his wife’s cancer diagnosis. She is now healthy, according to the Times.

Entering the race this late puts Patrick at a disadvantage. He has missed the filing deadlines in Alabama and Arkansas, and has no campaign cash and not much organization. He is also taking heat from liberal critics for his job at Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Romney. Romney also faced criticism over Bain when he ran for president in 2012.

News media exposed connections between death squads, the Salvadoran oligarchy and wealthy Central American families that invested with Romney, Huffington Post reported in 2012. Bain launched in 1983. Patrick has been working there since 2015. He is managing director.

Patrick is also chairman of the board for Our Generation Speaks, a fellowship program and startup incubator whose mіѕѕіоn іѕ to bring together young Israeli and Palestinian leaders through entrepreneurship.

Patrick’s role at Bain is very different from Romney’s, according to Axios. The focus of Patrick’s particular private equity fund is on positive social impact. “But it might be a difficult distinction for Patrick to persuasively articulate, particularly given (Elizabeth) Warren’s continuing efforts to paint the entire PE industry as engaged in ‘legalized looting,'” Dan Primack reported.

“If anybody is capable of catching lighting in a bottle, it’s (Patrick),” said Tim Murray in a NY Times interview. Murray is a former mayor of Worcester, Mass., who served as Patrick’s lieutenant governor.