BOSTON (CN) – Deval Patrick, the first black governor of Massachusetts, announced Thursday morning that he is entering the fray for the 2020 presidential election.
“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” Patrick said Thursday morning in a statement. “They bring a richness of idea and experience and depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time it is about the character of the country.”
Patrick grew up on the Southside of Chicago and lived in the Second City until he received a scholarship to Milton Academy in Massachusetts.
Patrick worked as an assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton and was repeatedly floated as a possible attorney general nominee for the Obama administration.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic primary candidate from Massachusetts, told reporters recently that Patrick was among those she would consider for her cabinet if elected.
Patrick’s successful 2006 gubernatorial campaign has many parallels to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential win. David Axelrod served as a top strategist on both campaigns, using the slogan “Together We Can” for Patrick, then switching to “Yes We Can” for Obama.
Patrick filed for entrance into the New Hampshire primary on Thursday – one day before the state’s deadline for candidates. The deadlines for Arkansas and Alabama, both of which have scheduled primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020, have already passed.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced recently plans for a late presidential bid, reportedly said he plans to skip early primaries, including those in New Hampshire and Iowa, to focus on Super Tuesday contests.
Patrick will not be the only former Massachusetts government official campaigning in New Hampshire, leading to their Feb. 11 primary. Former Governor Bill Weld along with former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh has filed to challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican primary in the Granite State.
Patrick will likely benefit from name recognition in New Hampshire, after eight years in the governor’s office one state over, but the same could also be said for frontrunners Warren and Bernie Sanders who serve as senators from Massachusetts and Vermont, respectively.