Deval Patrick enters 2020 race

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickCNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism 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 BloombergSteyer would have owed M more in taxes under lawmakers' proposal: liberal group Majority sees no ties between business experience and political success Fifth congressional Democrat backs Bloomberg in 2020 race MORE is also considering a presidential run.

The Democratic race for the nomination so far has seen former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE struggle as a front-runner, as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Overnight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP Iowa senator suggests Trump impeachment defense could hurt Biden at caucuses On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Sanders launches first TV ads in Nevada 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 ButtigiegOvernight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change Sanders surges to first in New Hampshire: poll Majority sees no ties between business experience and political success 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 TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense 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'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGOP-Biden feud looms over impeachment trial Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge New York City bans cashless businesses How far will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio go to protect undocumented aliens? 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 BookerSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Black caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? MORE (D-Calif.), both of whom have struggled in the race.

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