The former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on Donald Trump next year.
He was expected to appear in New Hampshire, where he will enter February’s primary. He is also expected to focus hard on South Carolina, an early voting state with a sizeable African American electorate.
In his video, Patrick discusses his youth in the South Side of Chicago and his experience in “government, nonprofits and in business”.
Among items on Patrick’s CV not mentioned in the video is a post-statehouse spell working for Bain Capital, the private investment firm founded by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The 63-year-old was governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015, the first African American in the post, and is a close ally of the former president Barack Obama.
His entry into the 2020 race follows former New York governor Michael Bloomberg filing to enter state primaries, though he has made no final decision about whether he will run.
Bloomberg’s flirtation with a run has been attributed to Joe Biden’s missteps and faltering polling numbers. The former vice-president is seen as the centrist choice in a sprawling field against leading progressives Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, senators from Massachusetts and Vermont.
Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, rounds out the top four in polling, surging strongly in Iowa, the first state to vote. No no one else has made a significant mark.
Defeating Trump is seen as paramount among a Democratic establishment worried the primary is shifting too far left.
“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” Patrick says in the video. “They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a 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’s about the character of the country.”
He does not mention Trump by name in his video. The 2020 election, he says, will be about “the character of the country … about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader, as important as that is.”
He then promises to build a more inclusive America, declares his candidacy and vows to “build as we climb”.
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