Sources: Ex-Mass. Gov. Patrick to skip 2020 White House race
BOSTON — Former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts will soon announce he won't launch a 2020 presidential campaign, according to three sources familiar with his plans. They did not say why he decided against a run.
A formal announcement was delayed as the country observed a day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush, one source said. News of Patrick's plans was first reported by Politico.
Patrick, 62, served two terms as governor, from 2007 to 2015, was assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Clinton administration and since leaving the governor's office has been a managing director for Bain Capital. Patrick, who has a home in Richmond, traveled the country in support of Democratic candidates in the recent midterm elections.
Earlier this year, some of Patrick's supporters and close advisers started the Reason to Believe political action committee, "a grassroots organization dedicated to advancing a positive, progressive vision for our nation in 2018 and 2020." Reason to Believe PAC had been holding meetups across the country, including in early presidential primary states.
Leading Berkshire Democrats weren't surprised by Patrick's decision as presidential campaigns are daunting and expensive.
"I think he saw so many Democrats that could run that have his same values. It would have been difficult to rise above the others," said state Rep. John Barrett III, D-North Adams.
While Patrick is opting against a 2020 run, dozens of Democrats are considering jumping in, including nearly a half-dozen members of the Senate, several House members, and other Massachusetts politicians. On Tuesday, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels and a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, said in a statement that he would not run.
Patrick had previously expressed some concerns about breaking through if he sought the nomination, telling David Axelrod, a former adviser to Barack Obama, that he wasn't sure he could stand out in such a large field.
"It's hard to see how you even get noticed in such a big, broad field without being shrill, sensational or a celebrity, and I'm none of those things and I'm never going to be any of those things," Patrick said in a September interview with Axelrod.
Yet, Patrick would be a viable candidate worthy of the presidency, according to Berkshire County's dean of Democrats, Eugene Dellea, who worked on the Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy presidential campaigns.
"Deval could have provided the type of leadership this country needs," Dellea said.
Patrick would have at least been a force to be reckoned with, added state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox.
"What he would have brought to the discussion, hope, a positive agenda, I'm disappointed he's not running," he said.
Eagle reporter Dick Lindsay contributed to the story.
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