Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, is considering jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination, according to two Associated Press sources.
Patrick, a close friend and ally of former President Barack Obama, ruled out a presidential bid earlier this year but has since been talking with Democratic operatives and donors about launching a campaign. He has not made a final decision on whether to run, but he is expected to do so quickly, given fast-approaching deadlines to get on the ballot in key states.
Patrick is the second Democrat to weigh jumping into the race at this late juncture, less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also reconsidering a run, citing concerns about the current Democratic frontrunners’ ability to defeat President Donald Trump. Bloomberg is expected to make a final decision on his 2020 prospects within days.
Deval Patrick’s entrance to national politics has been long speculated. His gubernatorial campaign in 2006 was practically a test run on a small scale of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Obama even plagiarized a Deval Patrick campaign speech—but that’s a story for another time. Deval Patrick was a surprise victor in the Democrat primary in 2006 but won the general election easily in the deep blue state. Patrick came under fire in that campaign for his connection to Benjamin LaGuer, who, in the early eighties, beat and raped his 57-year-old neighbor for over eight hours and was convicted for the crime. LaGuer maintained his innocence and his guilt was challenged over allegations of racism. Deval Patrick had petitioned the parole board for LaGuer’s freedom twice. In his letters, Patrick described LaGuer as “thoughtful and eloquent.” Patrick was so convinced of LaGuer’s innocence, he contributed $5,000 toward DNA testing—testing that proved LaGuer’s guilt—but, again, a story for another time.
Patrick has previously ruled out a White House bid, but he’s reportedly had serious conversations with close friends and aides about jumping in the race. The deadline for filing for New Hampshire’s primary is Friday. As a former New England governor, New Hampshire is likely his best chance to make a good first impression, even with two other New England candidates in the race, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also considering a late bid for the Democratic nomination. But, Deval Patrick doesn’t have the same financial resources as Bloomberg and will have a harder time building up a campaign apparatus. Regardless, that Patrick and Bloomberg are even considering jumping it at this stage is a major vote of no confidence in the current clown car of candidates, which speaks volumes.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis