Deval Patrick, a civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman, is the latest politician to throw his hat into the mix for the 2020 Democratic nomination. The former Massachusetts governor announced on Thursday, November 14 that he is set to make a late run for the presidency in what is already a crowded field.
In recent weeks, Patrick and billionaire Michael Bloomberg have joined the race as concerns continue in the Democratic Party that there is not currently a candidate well-equipped enough to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.
“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” Patrick said when announcing his bid. “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 is about the character of the country. I recognize running for president is a Hail Mary under any circumstances. This is a Hail Mary from two stadiums over.
“We will build as we climb, to welcome other teachers and learners, other seekers of a better way and builders of a better future. This won’t be easy, and it shouldn’t be.”
How does Patrick stand apart from his peers?
Everything you need to know about the latest Democratic presidential candidate can be seen below.
Deval Patrick Ethnicity & Heritage
Deval Patrick was born in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois to Emily Mae and Pat Patrick, who was a jazz musician in Sun Ra’s band. His mother traced her roots back to American slaves in Kentucky. Patrick’s father abandoned him and his family in order to pursue his music career in New York City. Patrick and his father eventually reconciled their relationship.
Deval Patrick Bio
Born: July 31, 1956 (age 63)
Patrick was a gifted student and was referred to the non-profit organization A Better Chance by a middle school teacher. He would go on to attend Milton Academy in Massachusetts before becoming the first member of his family to attend college. He received his bachelor’s degree and graduated from Harvard College cum laude. He would later enroll at Harvard Law School where he was elected president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.
After getting his law career started, Patrick was nominated as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division by President Bill Clinton, who he had sued in a voting case while working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the early 1980s.
Patrick would go on to a business career where he received a job as General Counsel of Texaco before leaving the company to become the Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary at The Coca-Cola Company.
Eventually, he turned his attention to politics where he was elected governor of Massachusetts with 55 percent of the general election vote in 2006. He was the first Democratic governor of the state since Michael Dukakis in 1991 and was the state’s first African-American governor.
Now, Patrick is looking to continue his political career in the Oval Office.