Deval Patrick enters 2020 race

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate Booker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Krystal Ball: New Biden ad is everything that's wrong with Democrats 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 Rubens BloombergTrump campaign exploits Bloomberg News blunder Tim Black: Did Michael Bloomberg lie about stop and frisk? Poll: Trump leads 2020 Democratic candidates in Michigan MORE is also considering a presidential run.

The Democratic race for the nomination so far has seen former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence MORE struggle as a front-runner, as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Buttigieg surrogate on candidate's past consulting work: 'I don't think it matters' Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate The media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges MORE (I-Vt.) challenge him from the left.

The lack of a clear favorite among the centrist candidates, with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Tulsi Gabbard reacts to Afghanistan report, calls out Pete Buttigieg's McKinsey work Buttigieg surrogate on candidate's past consulting work: 'I don't think it matters' 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 TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe 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'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing Gillibrand demands hearing following release of 'Afghanistan Papers' White House, Congress near deal to give 12 weeks paid parental leave to all federal workers MORE (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioMayor accuses de Blasio of dumping New York's homeless in Newark Conservatives must absolutely talk politics at the Thanksgiving table Booker campaign announces six-figure ad buy to qualify for December debate 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 BookerSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Krystal Ball: Media turns on Buttigieg, will this end him? Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller MORE (D-Calif.), both of whom have struggled in the race.

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