Deval Patrick, Last Black Candidate Drops out of Presidential Race

Patrick had originally stated he wasn’t going to run due to "the cruelty of our elections process".
Photo: Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, who jumped into the Democratic presidential primary months later than most of his competitors did, has now ended that bid. The announcement was made on Wednesday, a day after the New Hampshire primary.

What We Know:

  • The 63-year-old joined the Democratic field in November 2019, reversing an earlier decision. In late 2018, Patrick had originally stated he wasn’t going to run due to “the cruelty of our elections process” and the event of his wife’s uterine cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, his wife was later declared cancer-free at the time of his official bid.
  • Patrick, who eventually confessed the late-entry to the campaign was a “Hail Mary from two stadiums over,” had a troubling start as both his name recognition and polling rates were considerably low. He ended up only earning less than 1% in the recent New Hampshire primary, despite leading two terms as governor for Massachusetts and receiving a generous boost on the airwaves from a pro-Patrick superPAC.
  • He positioned himself as more center-left than the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates. Patrick outlined a series of broad policy agendas, including a “democracy agenda” and an “opportunity agenda” that sought universal pre-kindergarten among other measures. He also favored a “public option” expansion of Medicare.
  • “Patriotism demands, now more than ever, that we reject false choices,” Patrick said in his statement Wednesday. “Despite our righteous anger, Democrats don’t have to hate Republicans to be good Democrats. We don’t have to hate business to fight for social justice or to hate police to believe black lives matter. In that same spirit, we don’t have to hate moderation to be a good progressive.”

Patrick’s departure from the race leaves only eight candidates left still running for the party’s presidential nomination. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the only one who is not white.



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Javier Garay is an Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.