Deval Patrick, the politician who made history as Massachusetts’ first black governor, has begun calling political allies to tell them that he intends to launch a late bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, some 11 months after he ruled it out.
Patrick is expected to file for the New Hampshire primary on Friday — the last day to do so. He is likely to announce his campaign on Thursday, potentially through social media though a video announcing his bid is not yet ready, according to two sources close to Patrick.
Since he would be filing on the last day, he will have to appear in person.
Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said he has “not spoken with anyone about a potential Deval Patrick presidential campaign.”
One source, who has spoken to the former governor, told ABC News Patrick is clear-eyed about his prospects and has started to fill out a team — believing he can be competitive in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and on Super Tuesday. But Patrick has already missed the filing deadline in two southern states — Arkansas and Alabama — whose primaries are slated for March 3, 2020.
CNN first reported Patrick’s launch plans.
The ally of former President Barack Obama first began reaching out to officials and potential aides about a possible last-minute entry into the race earlier this week, according to Democratic Party sources. The decision comes as a reversal to the announcement at the end of 2018 he would not run.
“I hope to help in whatever way I can. It just won’t be as a candidate for president,” he wrote in 2018, as he signaled that his concerns with launching a White House run were with “the cruelty of our elections process.”
Former Massachusetts lieutenant governor Tim Murray said his former boss had “a lot to offer” and was “not afraid of risk,” as Patrick prepares to join the race.
“I always felt he has a lot to offer voters. I’ve seen him in moments of crisis – the marathon bombing – working decisively, encouraging everyone to work together… he had great instincts in those moments,” Murray told ABC News.
“I think he thinks he will bring a unique experience,” he continued. “People will say, if you’re going to make this decision, you should have made it already — but I think, he’s not afraid of risk. He’s not afraid to lose. He thinks he has a vision that will offer value.”
Murray says he spoke with Patrick a number of times last year as he was considering a run, but he has not spoken to him regarding this most recent deliberation.
Patrick is the second Democrat to consider a late entry into the still-crowded primary field, after former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed to qualify for Alabama’s primary last week, keeping his options open as he weighs his own last-minute run amid concerns over the current field’s ability to defeat President Donald Trump.
The news of Patrick’s possible entry earned jeers earlier this week from the Trump campaign’s director of communication, Tim Murtaugh, who tweeted, “Late entries into the Democrat primary just mean that the existing cast of characters can’t get it done. Not one of them can beat @realDonaldTrump and the new ones can’t either.”
Patrick, a CBS News political commentator, expressed his own concerns about the primary field, saying last month on “CBS This Morning” that he thought former Vice President Joe Biden’s “support was soft.”
“I’m a fan of the vice president. I have known him a long time. I have always felt that his support was soft and it feels like his campaign is contracting rather than expanding,” he said following the October debate.
He also added that he thought “poll numbers” don’t “mean much right now” and suggested voters aren’t keeping too close of an eye on the primary this early.
“I’m not sure that the poll numbers mean much right now. I keep meeting people who say, ‘you know it’s too much right now, I’m not focused right now. I’ll focus when there are fewer candidates’ and I suspect that moment will come soon.”
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Patrick hails from the same state as 2020 Democratic front-runner Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has yet to weigh in on his renewed interest in running for president. But in an interview last week with Angela Rye, Warren named Patrick as a potential member of her cabinet.
“If I could talk about people who aren’t politicians, I talk about my former governor, Deval Patrick, who is a pretty terrific guy,” she said.
Warren said on Wednesday she has not spoken to Patrick in the last couple of days about him eyeing a late run and dismissed the notion that his bid would complicate her own candidacy.
“I’m not here to criticize other Democrats,” she told reporters in New Hampshire after she filed for the primary ballot.
ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik and Mark Osborne contributed to this report.
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