Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced Thursday that he will run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
His decision to enter the primary comes against the backdrop of the realities of the political calendar — the filing deadline in all-important New Hampshire is Friday — as well as continued consternation from some Democrats about whether the current field presents viable options to beat President Donald Trump in 2020.
Patrick ruled out a presidential bid earlier this year, telling NBC Boston at the time that he had concerns about the negativity of a campaign and the impact of that on his family.
His late entry presents big hurdles, both in fundraising and when it comes to building a campaign organization that can keep pace with other candidates who have been running for almost a year.
"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field, they bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat," Patrick said in a video announcing his entry into the race.
"But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country ... This time is about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader, as important as that is, but about delivering, instead, for you."
"I’m placing my faith in the people who feel left out and left back, who just want a fair shot at a better future, not built by somebody better than you, not built for you, but built with you," he said.
Patrick served as Massachusetts governor from 2007 through 2015. Before that, he worked in the Clinton administration as an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's civil rights division from 1994 through 1997. After leaving the governorship, Patrick joined the investment firm Bain Capital — notably co-founded by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah — as a managing director.