Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is considering a late run for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to two people with knowledge of his deliberations, underscoring some Democrats’ uncertainty about the party’s current crop of contenders.
Patrick, a close friend and ally of former President Obama, ruled out a presidential bid this year but has since been talking with Democratic operatives and donors about launching a campaign. He has not made a final decision on whether to run, but he is expected to do so quickly, given fast-approaching deadlines to get on the ballot in key states.
Patrick is the second Democrat to weigh jumping into the race at this late juncture, less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses. Former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is also considering a run, citing concerns about the current Democratic front-runners’ ability to defeat President Trump. Bloomberg is expected to make a final decision on his 2020 prospects within days.
The people with knowledge of Patrick’s deliberations spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Though he earlier ruled out a run, Patrick reopened conversations with close friends and aides over the summer, but did not take steps to form a campaign. In recent days, those conversations have intensified, with Patrick himself gauging interest in a run with donors and Democratic operatives.
He would face big hurdles at this late stage. Unlike Bloomberg, a wealthy billionaire who would self-fund, Patrick would have to quickly raise money to build out a campaign operation and boost his familiarity with voters. Some of his former political advisors are already working for other 2020 candidates.
Patrick, who made history as Massachusetts’ first black governor, could gain traction in neighboring New Hampshire, which holds the first primary contest. However, he’d face stiff competition from two other neighboring contenders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden.
New Hampshire’s primary filing deadline is Friday.