Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick suspends presidential bid

He never made it to a debate stage nor fared well in polls.

February 12, 2020, 12:37 PM

Deval Patrick, the 63-year-old former governor of Massachusetts has suspended his run in the Democratic presidential race.

"The vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting. So I have decided to suspend the campaign, effective immediately," he wrote supporters on Wednesday.

He was governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015 and was the first African American elected to the position. His departure from the presidential field means there is no longer any black candidate running for the Democratic nomination -- a huge shift for a field once lauded for its diversity.

Patrick, who joined the 2020 presidential race in November, said he aimed to be the alternative choice for voters who are unsatisfied with the current candidates. However, his polling numbers were never competitive and the two-term governor never made it to a debate stage.

"I wouldn't be in it if I didn't think I could win it," he told ABC News' Whit Johnson in mid-November.

PHOTO: Governor Deval Patrick (D) Massachusetts on 'This Week'
Governor Deval Patrick (D) Massachusetts on 'This Week'

Patrick said at the time he was hoping to be competitive in South Carolina, formerly a state where former Vice President Joe Biden has strong political ties and a presumed foothold.

"I think you know," Patrick told ABC News, "the objective is to be competitive everywhere."

A former managing director at Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Patrick graduated cum laude from Harvard with an English degree and later returned to earn a law degree, again with cum laude honors.

Patrick grew up on Chicago's South Side. He and his wife, Diane, have two grown daughters, Katherine and Sarah, and one grandchild. Patrick said he'd intended to announce his candidacy about a year earlier, but his wife was diagnosed with cancer and required surgery. Now cancer free, she encouraged his 2020 bid.

The former Massachusetts governor also spoke with former President Barack Obama before declaring his candidacy. Patrick said Obama offered valuable political insight.

"He's equally encouraging and open to others who have thought about it and who have gotten in. And I appreciate it," Patrick said of Obama.

Patrick also previously told ABC News that while some candidates are personal friends, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who hails from the same state, he was focused on becoming the unifying force during a divisive time in politics.

In an interview in early November, Warren had even named Patrick as a potential member of her cabinet. She later dismissed the notion that his bid would have complicated her own candidacy.

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