Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is entering the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, two sources told NBC10 Boston, becoming the second Bay State politician to join the party's crowded field of candidates.
Patrick has called party leaders and supporters and plans to be in New Hampshire by the end of the week, the sources said. Politicians have until Friday to add their names to the state's first-in-the-nation primary ballot.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Earlier this year, the 63-year-old had said he wouldn't run citing family concerns among other reasons: "It would be pretty tough to break in without being shrill or sensational or a celebrity."
Some political experts say jumping in the race this late in the game could be a longshot with 17 other Democrats in the race — including fellow Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren — but say he may have a chance.
"I think there probably is a path, should he choose to do it," said Alex Goldstein, the former press secretary of the Patrick administration. "Gov. Patrick has a way of speaking to people and their anxieties that brings them to a higher place."
"He is still a member of Bain Capital, and I get a feeling that he would not have announced unless he has been given promises that he's going to be well-funded moving forward," said Boston University professor Thomas Whalen.
In Whalen's opinion, Warren has the most to lose with Patrick's expected entry.
"A lot of transplanted Massachusetts residents living in New Hampshire now are going to vote in the primary, and Deval Patrick was extremely popular here in Massachusetts, so they might switch to him at Warren's expense," he said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, could end up gaining a running mate, according to Whalen.
"At the very least, he'd be on the short list, I think, for a vice presidential candidate or on the major national ticket," he said.
Patrick, a close ally of former President Barack Obama, made history as Massachusetts' first black governor. He served from 2007 to 2015 and traveled around the country during last year's elections to support Democratic candidates.