A second Black man has thrown his hat in the ring to be the Democratic nominee in the 2020 presidential election.
Deval Patrick, a former two-term governor of Massachusetts, started off his campaign Thursday with a 2-minute-35-second YouTube video announcing his candidacy.
“I grew up on the South Side of Chicago,” he said. “I lived there with my grandparents, my mother and sister in our grandparents’ two-bedroom tenement, some of that time on welfare.”
Patrick is up against a slate of 17 other candidates that includes two other Black candidates — California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
His candidacy attracted a flood of opposition on Twitter Thursday.
Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith, a Black man, tweeted: “The last time that @DevalPatrick considered a presidential run, he called it off one day after this @zachdcarter report was published. He may be hoping that you forgot that he made money helping a GOP billionaire rip off black middle-class folks. I didn’t.”
Two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a white Massachusetts doctor who also has run twice for governor in that state, tweeted: “As a MA resident I’ve seen how Deval Patrick works. Here’s what you should know: Deval Patrick worked for Bain Capital, Texaco & Ameriquest. Deval Patrick worked to help some of the worst corporations screw some of the most vulnerable people.”
The newest Democratic contender, however, said it’s his background that makes him especially eligible to field the nation’s top seat.
“I went to big, broken, overcrowded public schools,” Patrick said. “And still my grandmother used to tell us we were not poor, just broke because broke she said is temporary.”
Patrick went on in the video to attribute his success to teachers, church members, relatives and other community members who taught him “to look up not down, to hope for the best and work for it.”
He said he’s the first in his family to go to college and law school and that he’s worked in both nonprofit and governmental capacities.
“I’ve had a chance to live my American dream,” Patrick said.
He added now he wants to make that dream more inclusive for others.
“Come be a part of this,” Patrick said. “We will build as we climb.”