U.S. Politics

Deval Patrick announces he will not run for president in 2020, citing 'cruelty of election process'

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) announced on Facebook Thursday morning that he will not run for president in 2020 after election handicappers floated him as a potential candidate.

“After a lot of conversation, reflection and prayer, I’ve decided that a 2020 campaign for president is not for me," Patrick wrote.

"I’ve been overwhelmed by advice and encouragement from people from all over the country, known and unknown. Humbled, in fact," he added. "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.” 

It was reported earlier this week that Patrick, who served as governor of the commonwealth between 2007 and 2015, was telling staff and close allies that he would not run for president.

He had previously raised eyebrows after spending several months campaigning for Democrats in competitive midterm election districts across the country. In August, he created the Reason to Believe Political Action Committee, which focused on “promoting Governor Patrick’s positive vision for Democrats to rally around in 2018.” Patrick also said in March that a possible 2020 run was “on my radar screen.” 

Although he will not be running, Patrick urged prospective Democratic candidates to appeal to voters of all stripes, adding that the people he met while campaigning for other candidates should not be condensed to the demographic groups to which they belong. 

“The people I met don’t fit in a box. They are much more than some oversimplified ‘voter demographic,’ with all the presumptions that go with that. They are living unique lives, in search, in not so many words, of economic security and social justice and meaning. And they sense that most of the time most of the political establishment sees only a cartoon version of them or overlooks them altogether,” he wrote.

“Democrats have a clear chance not just to win their votes but to win their respect and earn their help by showing up everywhere, engaging everyone, and making our case. Our case for opportunity, equality and fair play has its roots in the founding aspirations of America. And it turns out those values still matter to people. That is our civic faith, and we’ll have to take care to keep it now — because what’s at stake today is not just the case for our party or the qualifications of a given candidate, but the character of the country,” he added.

The Democratic primary field is expected to be crowded, with former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) already considering runs of their own.

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