Deval Patrick Exits 2020 Presidential Race

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Deval Patrick (Staff file of the Boston Herald photo by Angela Rowlings )

The former Massachusetts governor struggled to gain any traction in a crowded Democratic field.

By Antonia Blumberg, Huffington Post

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced Wednesday he is ending his quixotic bid for the Democratic presidential nomination following his performance in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

“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,” Patrick said in a statement.

Patrick joined the crowded field of Democratic candidates in mid-November ― long after the campaign was underway and just in time to file to run in the New Hampshire primary. Despite coming from a neighboring state, he failed to break the 1% mark in Tuesday’s vote in the state.

In his Wednesday statement, Patrick criticized pundits for saying he joined the race too late.

“As I hope you know, I entered this race when I could, and not a moment before I should have. More importantly, I entered the race months before anyone had cast a vote. We cannot keep mistaking media narratives for political outcomes,” he said.

Patrick, 63, previously said his bid was rooted in “a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for the next generation.” He said he supported a public option for health care but not “Medicare for All,” in contrast to several of the more prominent candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). He also said he was in favor of increasing taxes on “the most prosperous and most fortunate.”

Patrick’s campaign got off to a rocky start when it was revealed that in his announcement remarks he had mischaracterized a piece of biographical information. Patrick claimed he was the first person in his family to attend college ― in fact, his father, celebrated jazz musician Laurdine Kenneth “Pat” Patrick, attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, as well as Wilson Junior College.

Patrick was also one of the few Democratic candidates to not rule out working with super PACs in his campaign. His Reason to Believe PAC, which he used to seed his presidential bid, raised $620,000 from just six donors.

Before being elected governor in 2006, Patrick worked in corporate law, with stints as general counsel of Texaco and Coca-Cola. He also worked for ACC Capital Holdings, the parent company of Ameriquest, one of the largest subprime mortgage lenders in the years before the financial crash.

After his second term as governor ended in early 2015, Patrick joined Bain Capital, a private equity firm co-founded by former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney ― another former Massachusetts governor who now serves as a U.S. senator from Utah. Bain has recently faced criticism for its role in the dissolution of Toys ‘R’ Us, which has laid off over 30,000 workers since declaring bankruptcy in 2017.

Patrick also faced scrutiny over his decision as governor to dismiss two top officials at the state’s sex offender registry board. The ouster occurred after the officials questioned a hearing officer’s decision that Patrick’s brother-in-law didn’t have to register as a sex offender despite a conviction for spousal rape.

Three years later, the brother-in-law, Bernard Sigh, was accused of rape a second time. Once again, the victim was his wife, Patrick’s sister. In June 2019, Sigh was sentenced to six to eight years in prison for rape, kidnapping, stalking and witness intimidation.

Ahead of the New Hampshire primary, Patrick said a six-day, 1,000-mile bus tour he undertook showed him that there were plenty of undecided voters who could boost his campaign. And as he reached a wider audience with a CNN town hall on Feb. 6, he acknowledged he had to “beat expectations” in New Hampshire.

He did not.

Sanjana Karanth contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

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