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Deval Patrick enters 2020 race

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court sides with oil companies in Baltimore case| White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects | Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings Approving Kristen Clarke's nomination should be a no-brainer To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate 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 BloombergBiden's domestic and global challenges on COVID vaccinations Press: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship MORE is also considering a presidential run.

The Democratic race for the nomination so far has seen former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE struggle as a front-runner, as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden risks break with progressives on infrastructure The Memo: The center strikes back Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population Overnight Health Care: Medicaid enrollment reaches new high | White House gives allocation plan for 55M doses | Schumer backs dental, vision, hearing in Medicare Schumer backing plan to add dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare 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 ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm 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 TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report 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'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOur new praetorian guard? Gillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave MORE (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioTrump Organization sues NYC for canceling golf course contract Adams, Wiley lead field in NYC mayoral primary: poll New York City moving thousands of people from hotels back to shelters 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 BookerThis week: Senate set for voting rights fight Congress must act to correct flaws in the First Step Act Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story A healthier planet and economy is worth fighting for Watch live: Harris gives remarks on the child tax credit MORE (D-Calif.), both of whom have struggled in the race.

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