Citing the “cruelty of our elections process” and the impact it would have on people he loves, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced in a Facebook post that he will not run for president in 2020.
“After a lot of conversation, reflection and prayer, I’ve decided that a 2020 campaign for president is not for me,” Patrick writes in the post. “I’ve been overwhelmed by advice and encouragement from people from all over the country, known and unknown. Humbled, in fact. But knowing that the cruelty of our elections process would ultimately splash back on people whom Diane and I love, but who hadn’t signed up for the journey, was more than I could ask.”
Sources say Patrick informed his staff and advisers of his decision on Tuesday, but made his decision public on Thursday morning.
After serving two terms as Massachusetts’ governor, Patrick rejoined the private sector at Bain Capital, but had been open to the possibility of a presidential run, even traveling to several key races across the country this year to try and get Democrats elected.
Close advisers to Patrick even launched a political action committee in August called the Reason to Believe PAC, which was created to promote “Governor Patrick’s positive vision for Democrats to rally around in 2018,” according to Politico.
Patrick, a close friend of former President Barack Obama, was also encouraged by members of Obama’s inner circle to run in 2020. Earlier this year, Patrick met with Obama to discuss a potential run.
While Patrick has definitively declared he’s out of the race before it even starts, there are other Massachusetts Democrats who are still making up their minds. Both Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Secretary of State and Sen. John Kerry have said they are keeping their options open, according to Politico. Other potential candidates could include Rep. Seth Moulton and Rep. Joe Kennedy III.
Patrick is from Chicago but earned a scholarship to Massachusetts’ Milton Academy and later graduated from Harvard Law School. He would eventually become the chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under President Bill Clinton before taking senior counsel roles with Coca-Cola and Texaco, according to Politico. Patrick backed Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton.
Patrick succeeded Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts in 2007 and was elected to a second term.