Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced Thursday he is running for president, making a late entry into the Democratic race less than three months before primary voting begins. In an announcement video, Patrick highlighted his poverty-stricken childhood on Chicago’s South Side, saying he’s running for the “people who feel left out and left back.”
As the first in his family to go to college and law school, Patrick said, “I’ve had a chance to live my American Dream.” But over the years, the “path to that dream” has closed off for others, he said, as government and economy have been “letting us down.” Patrick made history as the first black governor of Massachusetts and has close ties to former President Barack Obama and his network of political advisers. But he faces significant fundraising and organizational hurdles this late in the race. His announcement comes as some Democrats worry about the strength of the party’s current field of contenders. Another Democrat - former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - is also weighing a last-minute bid for the party’s nomination. Patrick could present himself as a potential bridge across the moderate, liberal and progressive factions - as candidates like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker are trying to do. But the former governor faces significant hurdles to raise enormous amounts of money quickly and to build an organization in the traditional early voting states that most of his rivals have focused on for the past year.
With files from the Associated Press
Stephanie Murray, author of the POLITICO Massachusetts Playbook, she previously worked for the State House News Service in Boston
Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush