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Deval Patrick enters 2020 race

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickRalph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden MORE (D) announced early Thursday that he will run for president, entering a crowded and fluid race for the Democratic nomination.

He made the announcement in a YouTube video while posting a 2020 campaign image on Facebook.

“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” he said in the video. “But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country.”

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“In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me and with the 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."

His announcement comes ahead of the deadline to register in the New Hampshire primary on Friday, a state in which Patrick hopes to be competitive after serving two terms as governor of a neighboring state.

Patrick's entrance to the race comes as former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEverytown hits GOP on gun safety in closing .5M battleground ad barrage A closing argument: Why voters cannot trust Trump on healthcare Biden campaign swamps Trump on TV airwaves MORE is also considering a presidential run.

The Democratic race for the nomination so far has seen former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE struggle as a front-runner, as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.) challenge him from the left.

The lack of a clear favorite among the centrist candidates, with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report MORE running fourth, is seen as encouraging moderates such as Bloomberg and Patrick to enter the race.

The evolving race showcases the angst felt by some Democrats worried that Warren and Sanders could lose a general election against President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE.

“There’s already one Massachusetts elitist liberal running in the Democrat field, yet Deval Patrick must think she, nor any of the other candidates aren’t good enough. Reminder: Patrick doesn’t stand a chance against President Trump either," Republican National Committee spokesman Steve Guest said in a statement on Thursday.

Patrick had ruled out a 2020 bid last year, citing the impact a presidential run could have on his family.

But he has reached out to Democrats recently arguing he could bring liberal and moderate Democrats together. 

He will likely face an uphill climb in the primary, given his late entry

Patrick becomes the 18th presidential candidate in a race that has already seen some high-profile departures like former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Dems highlight health care in fight to flip state House Union leader vows 'infrequent' minority voters will help deliver Biden victory Jimmy Carter says his son smoked pot with Willie Nelson on White House roof MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter's handling of New York Post article raises election night concerns | FCC to move forward with considering order targeting tech's liability shield | YouTube expands polices to tackle QAnon Democrats question Amazon over reported interference of workers' rights to organize Dueling town halls represent high stakes for Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioCitigroup executive to run for NYC mayor: report Treasury withheld nearly M from FDNY 9/11 health program New York theaters display banners urging governor to reopen cinemas MORE.

Historically, candidates who have entered presidential primaries late do not last long, and Patrick will not have as much time to amplify his campaign in early primary and caucus states.

He could see an opening in New Hampshire, and could make inroads in South Carolina’s primary as an African American. 

Biden has led in South Carolina and is seen as the favored candidate for African American Democrats, despite the presence of Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker 'outs' Cruz as vegan; Cruz jokingly decries 'scurrilous attack' Why Latinos should oppose Barrett confirmation Judiciary Committee sets vote on Barrett's nomination for next week MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter As VP Kamala Harris could be a powerful voice for women's retirement security The clock is ticking and Trump is still taking a shellacking MORE (D-Calif.), both of whom have struggled in the race.

— This breaking news report was updated at 7:15 a.m.