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Who is Deval Patrick? Bio, age, family, key positions

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Who is Deval Patrick?

Current job: 2020 presidential candidate. 

Age: 63.

Family: Patrick and his wife Diane have two adult daughters, Katherine and Sarah. 

Previous jobs: Managing director at private equity firm Bain Capital 2015-2019, governor of Massachusetts from 2007-2015, businessman, assistant US attorney for the Civil Rights Division 1994-1997, corporate lawyer. 

Who is Patrick’s direct competition for the nomination?

Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can identify the other candidates competing in Deval Patrick’s lane, and who his broader opponents are within the party.

Patrick is a more recent addition to our surveys and at this time has an insufficient sample size for which to draw conclusions.

Insider has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as the nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.

What are Deval Patrick’s policy positions?

  • On healthcare:
    • Patrick’s campaign website says he envisions “a health care system that provides access to high-quality, low-cost health services everywhere and for every single individual, bar none.”
    • In a November 14 appearance on CBS “This Morning,” Patrick said he does not support Medicare for All “in the terms we’ve been talking about.”
  • On guns:
    • As Massachusetts’ governor, Patrick pushed for several gun control measures including stricter regulations on firearms and limiting purchases.
    • In 2014, Patrick signed legislation giving Massachusetts police chiefs the authority to block certain individuals from getting gun licenses and closing the so-called gun show loophole, which allowed some gun sales to slip through the cracks of the background check system. 
  • On immigration:
    • His campaign website advocates for “an immigration system that provides for both border integrity and human dignity, that encourages the determined and creative whose values align with ours to make their home here.”
  • On climate change: 
    • In the late 1990s, Patrick was a top executive at oil and gas company Texaco managing its eventual merger with Chevron. 
    • As Massachusetts’ governor, Patrick signed legislation promoting the use of biofuels, subsiding the creation of green energy jobs, and setting targets to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and publicly called for “a future free of fossil fuels” in 2014, one of the first governors to do so. 
  • On campaign finance:
    • Unlike many other 2020 candidates, Patrick hasn’t shied away from PAC money. According to a report from OpenSecrets, Patrick created his Reason to Believe PAC in 2018 to help pay for consulting in advance of his presidential bid, with the majority of his donations coming from just six donors. 
    • Patrick’s PAC additionally donated to several Democratic 2018 House of Representatives candidates. 
    • His campaign website decries “the explosion of dark money into elections” and “the influence of paid lobbyists.”
  • On the social safety net:
    • As Massachusetts’ governor, Patrick took steps to expand coverage and resources to combat Massachusetts’ opioid crisis.
  • On abortion:
  • On LGBTQ rights:
    • As governor, Patrick actively fought against a proposed ballot measure that sought to repeal the state’s 2004 legalization of same-sex marriage. His daughter Katherine is openly lesbian.
  • On education:
    • Patrick’s campaign website advocates for strong education policy “from pre-K to community college, and right through workforce development and retraining, because education is the single best investment the public can make in its own collective future.”
    • Patrick boasts quadrupling state capital spending on Massachusetts’ public colleges’ classrooms and resources, as well as expanding access to early education and universal kindergarten. 
  • On criminal justice:
    • Patrick’s campaign website advocates for “a justice system that focuses less on warehousing people than on preparing them to re-enter responsible life.”
    • In 2014, Patrick signed criminal justice reform legislation expanding both comprehensive re-entry programs for formerly incarcerated people and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. 
    • “For a long time, tough on crime policies made good sound-bites, but they have not made us safer, they have cost us a fortune and they have contributed to the unwise and unnecessary devastation of entire communities and multiple generations,” Patrick said in 2014.
  • On foreign policy:
    • In 2014, Patrick gave a tearful speech offering to provide support and shelter for some of the minors that were part of the influx of unaccompanied migrant children coming across the border into the United States, calling it a “humanitarian crisis.” 
    • “I believe that one day, we will all have to answer for our actions,” he said. “My faith teaches me that if a stranger dwells in your land, you shall not mistreat them, but love them as yourself.” 
  • On taxes:
    • In his November 14 interview on CBS “This Morning,” Patrick didn’t come out in support of the wealth tax on the wealthiest Americans that fellow 2020 candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed.
    • “Taxes should go up on the most prosperous … a wealth tax makes a lot of sense directionally. But my idea would be a much, much simpler tax system for everyone,” Patrick said, adding, “Wealth is not the problem, greed is the problem.”
  • On corporate regulation:
    • Patrick has been scrutinized for his work on the board of ACC Capital Holdings, the parent company of Ameriquest, which the Huffington Post described as “the world’s largest subprime lender during the housing bubble” and “a financial time bomb targeting middle-class families, particularly families of color.”
  • On democracy reform:

What are Deval Patrick’s political successes?

  • Patrick prevailed as a little-known candidate in the crowded 2006 Democratic primary for governor of Massachusetts, and defeated Lt. Gov. Kerry Healy in the general election, returning control of the governor’s office to Democrats for the first time since 1991. 
  • To this day, Patrick is still just the second elected African-American governor in US history, following former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder. (David Paterson was appointed as governor of New York in 2008 after Eliot Spitzer’s resignation). 
  • Patrick has also forged a close allyship and friendship with former President Barack Obama, and was a key surrogate for Obama in his 2012 presidential re-election bid. 

How much money has Deval Patrick raised?

Since Patrick just entered the race, we don’t have any fundraising data for his presidential campaign yet. His Reason to Believe PAC has raised $843,680 since 2018, and has spent the PAC’s money on consulting and polling, according to campaign finance records. 

Could Deval Patrick beat President Trump?

Again, Patrick is a recent addition to our polling and it will take some time to find out how he’d perform against the president in a general election matchup.

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