Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is making a late run for the Democratic presidential nomination, he announced Thursday in a video on his official website.
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.
His step into a crowded ring makes Patrick the 18th candidate in the 2020 Democratic race. It comes as some Democrats express uncertainty about the party’s current crop of contenders.
“In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American Dream for the next generation, I am today announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” Patrick said in his video.
In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American Dream for everyone:
— Deval Patrick (@DevalPatrick) November 14, 2019
The move is in direct contrast to December 2018 when he said he would not run for president, citing in a Facebook post the “cruelty of our elections process” and the impact it would have on those close to him.
“After a lot of conversation, reflection and prayer, I’ve decided that a 2020 campaign for president is not for me,” Patrick posted on his Facebook page last year. Patrick said he and his wife worried 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.”
After announcing his bid on Thursday morning, Patrick plans to travel to New Hampshire later in the day to file his papers for the primary there with the secretary of state’s office, his first official step in getting on primary ballots.
Patrick made history as Massachusetts’ first black governor, serving from 2007 to 2015. He was only the country’s second black elected governor since Reconstruction.