By Paul Steinhauser
Published February 12, 2020
“The vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting. So I have decided to suspend the campaign, effective immediately,” Patrick said in a statement.
Even though he was relatively well known in New Hampshire as the two-term governor from a neighboring state – and he heavily campaigned in the first-in-the-nation primary state since declaring his candidacy in mid-November -- Patrick grabbed less than 1 percent of the vote, according to the latest results. His departure means there are no longer any other African-Americans in the race.
The former governor mulled launching a presidential campaign in 2018, assembling a team of advisers and enjoying the backing of some of former President Barack Obama’s top political aides. But at the end of 2018, Patrick announced he wouldn’t run, pointing to the “cruelty of our elections process” as well as his wife’s diagnosis with uterine cancer.
But 11 months later – after his wife was cancer-free – he launched his campaign late in the 2020 cycle.
Patrick repeatedly pushed back against the media narrative that he declared his candidacy for the White House too late to successfully compete.
In his announcement that he was dropping out, Patrick emphasized that “many in the media have noted that I entered the race 'late.' As a direct and limiting consequence, I’ve met many people on the campaign trail who lament how they wished I had entered the race sooner. As I hope you know, I entered this race when I could, and not a moment before I should have.”
He stressed that “we cannot keep mistaking media narratives for political outcomes. Political outcomes are entirely up to voters.”
Patrick served as U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division from 1994-1997 under President Bill Clinton. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006 and re-elected in 2010, the first black governor in the commonwealth's history.
After leaving office in 2015, Patrick took a job with Bain Capital, the Boston-based private investment firm that became a liability to Mitt Romney – Patrick’s predecessor as Massachusetts governor – during Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.