Deval Patrick, the last African American Presidential Candidate, Ends 2020 Campaign - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick suspended his 2020 presidential campaign on Wednesday, leaving no other black candidates in the Democratic primary and just one other candidate of color in the race: Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Samoan American.

Patrick launched a late presidential run in mid-November, but his campaign failed to gain traction. The former Massachusetts governor never registered in polling or qualified for a presidential debate. He also only raised $2.2 million in the last quarter of 2019 and barely registered in New Hampshire despite pouring a majority of his campaign resources into the state. He received less than 1,300 votes in the state’s primary last night.

“I believed and still believe we had a strong case to make for being able to deliver better outcomes,” Patrick said in a statement, according to CNN. “But 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.”

He added: “I am not suspending my commitment to help—there is still work to be done. We are facing the most consequential election of our lifetime. Our democracy itself, let alone our civic commitments to equality, opportunity and fair play, are at risk.”

While on the campaign trail, Patrick advocated for “compassionate capitalism,” a philosophy that believes that businesses and government can work together to serve the public good. He also championed his track record as both a public servant and an executive with private sector experience, which included serving as general counsel of Texaco and the executive vice president, general counsel, and Secretary at The Coca-Cola Co. In 2007, the Harvard University graduate became the first African American elected as governor of Massachusetts and went on to serve two terms. Following his stint, he returned to the private sector, joining the private equity firm Bain Capital in 2015 as a managing director.

Only eight candidates currently remain in the Democratic primary, which was once celebrated for its diversity. However, Sen. Cory Booker ended his campaign last month while Sen. Kamala Harris announced her departure in December. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who was born to Chinese immigrants, suspended his campaign yesterday.