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Deval Patrick on the issues, in under 500 words

Deval Patrick sits in a chair and smiles at the camera.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Democrat Deval Patrick is a businessman and was the first black governor of Massachusetts. He has close personal ties to former President Obama and some of his closest advisers.

Key facts

  • Current position: n/a
  • Age: 63
  • Born: Chicago, Ill.
  • Education: Harvard University (BA, JD)
  • Date candidacy announced: Nov. 14, 2019
  • Previous roles: Managing director at Bain Capital (2015-2019); Governor of Massachusetts (2007-2015), board of directors of ACC Capital Holdings (2004-2006), executive vice president at Coca-Cola (2001-2004), general counsel at Texaco (1999-2001), U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division (1994-1997)

Stance on key issues

  • Medicare for All: Called it a "terrific idea" last year, but only "alongside various of the private options that are available" under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Signed legislation in Massachusetts linking cost increases in health care to the rate of growth of the state’s economy.
  • Climate change: Advocated for a multi-pronged approach for tackling climate change, while calling cap-and-trade not "enough" of a strategy to carbon emissions.
    • In 2014, said "Massachusetts should finally end all reliance on conventional coal generation" in four years, and called for "a future free of fossil fuels."
  • Immigration: As governor, allowed undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts to qualify for in-state tuition.
  • Gun control: Said after the Newtown shooting that he supports a renewal of the national ban on assault weapons.
  • Education: Proposed doubling the number of charter schools in Massachusetts and imposing universal pre-K.
    • Proposed making community college free in the state.
  • Abortion: Signed a law allowing police to order anti-abortion protesters to be removed from entrances to clinics if they were blocking access to the building.
  • Opioid crisis: Signed into law a requirement for insurers to provide up to 14 days of inpatient care for people with addictions.

Key criticisms

  • He entered the Democratic presidential field less than three months from the Iowa caucuses, missing the filing deadlines in Alabama and Arkansas.
  • He has ties large corporations throughout his legal and business careers, which more progressive Democratic candidates have criticized during this election cycle.

1 fun thing

  • A portion of a street in Patrick's Chicago hometown was renamed for him in 2013.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

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