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Who Is Deval Patrick? The Former Governor Has Joined The 2020 Presidential Race

Well everyone, just when we thought the number of 2020 Democratic election candidates might be shrinking, a new candidate has thrown his hat in the ring. So who is Deval Patrick? He's entering the race a little late.

On Thursday, Nov. 14, former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts announced he will be entering the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. Patrick made the announcement through a video on his official website. "In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American Dream for the next generation, I am today announcing my candidacy for President of the United States," Patrick said in the campaign video. It was a surprise to some, as he had previously dismissed the possibility of a presidential run. Patrick's entry comes at pretty much the last possible moment — The New York Times notes that he filed to be on the primary ballot in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first primary, just one day before the deadline to do so.

Patrick previously served two terms as Massachusetts' governor from 2007 to 2015, the first black man to hold the office. Following his role as governor, he joined investment company Bain Capital, where he set up a fund called the Bain Double Impact fund, which invested "hundreds of millions" of dollars into companies whose focus was in social and environmental change.

In a Thursday morning interview with CBS This Morning, Patrick suggested that his candidacy would take a fairly moderate line, and indicated his support for policies like a public option for health insurance, as opposed to the Medicare For All proposal popular with other candidates. He also indicated support for eliminating or reducing student debt, and increasing taxes on the wealthy (though he avoided directly advocating for a wealth tax).

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Despite Patrick's late entry, the Democratic candidate field has been shrinking significantly over the past few weeks. On Nov. 1, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas announced that he was ending his 2020 presidential run due to lower polling numbers and lack of campaign funds. O'Rourke made the announcement while speaking to a group of supporters on Nov. 1. O'Rourke said,

This is a campaign that has prided itself on seeing things clearly, on speaking honestly and on acting decisively. We have to clearly see at this point that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.

Politico also reported on Nov. 13 that former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro will not qualify for the Nov. 20 Democratic debate, due to not making qualifications such as funding and polling numbers.

According to Politico, as of Nov. 14, 10 candidates have qualified for the next debate, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and philanthropist Tom Steyer.

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The Nov. 20 Democratic debate will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, and be co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. In order to qualify for the next debate, candidates were required to secure at least 165,000 individual donors of which 600 donors had to be from at least 20 states, and reach at least 3% in four Democratic National Committee (DNC) polls, or 5% in two DNC-approved polls in primary states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. So far, there's been no word as to whether Patrick will take the stage alongside the qualified candidates.