Newswire: Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick joins Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker in White House race

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Deval Patrick


As doubts grow about the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, other candidates have entered the race for the White House in 2020. In a surprise announcement on November 14, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, 63, tossed his hat in the ring. Only days before, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he would also join the crowded field of Democrats competing to take on President Donald Trump.
Former Governor Patrick’s late entry onto the presidential stage means that for the first time in history, three African Americans are running for President from one of the two major political parties. They are Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and now Patrick. The late arrivals have reignited a debate about “electability” and who can actually win in 2020. Biden’s poll numbers falling in Iowa started the debate.
The diversity of the field and Patrick’s late run only 80 days before the Iowa Caucuses have many insiders on team blue worried that a protracted primary fight may hurt the party’s chances of beating Trump. Concerns from Wall Street and the “one percent” about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax” ideas have many Democrats who are more corporation friendly, such as Patrick, re-thinking their chances to compete. Billionaire Bloomberg joined billionaire Tom Steyer, who literally bought his way onto the debate stage, are trying to ignite interest with the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
To add to the challenge, white candidates in the field must build the diverse Obama coalition of voters and ensure excitement in the most reliable sectors of the Democratic base while minority candidates must thread the needle of attracting white support. The share of white voters supporting the Democratic Party decreases two or three percent each year.
“We have women in this race, we have an openly gay person in this race, we have (a) biracial person in this race, African-Americans in this race,” Patrick said on November 15 to the Associated Press. “It is an incredible moment in American history that our field is so diverse and that voters have such qualified folks to choose from.”
It remains to be seen whether Patrick can quality for the debate stage next month. It also remains to be seen as to whether he can raise the millions needed to mount a serious effort for the White House. But with the current field in flux because of Biden’s faltering in the polls, Deval Patrick may have a chance compete in a crowded field.

Newswire : Democrats, Black candidates win historic victories on election night

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

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Melvin Carter was elected the first Black mayor of St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday night, Nov. 7, 2017. (Screenshot/MelvinCarter.org)
The blue wave that swept the country last week wasn’t just a victory for Democrats, but a resounding win for African American candidates, who defied the odds—and Trumpism—to make history.
In Charlotte, N.C., voters elected the first female African American mayor in the city’s history, choosing Democrat Vi Lyles over Republican Kenny Smith.
In St. Paul, Minn., Melvin Carter became that city’s first Black mayor, earning slightly more than 50 percent of the vote in a field that featured 10 candidates and a write-in opponent.
In Virginia, Democrat Justin Fairfax trounced Republican challenger Jill Vogel in the race for lieutenant governor. In January, Fairfax will become only the second African American to hold statewide office in Virginia. Doug Wilder was the first, serving as lieutenant governor from 1986-1990, then as governor from 1990-1994.
Fairfax said his and other Democratic victories could “be the match that sparks the wildfire of progressive” change all across the country.“All across the world. This is a battle for the nation’s soul,” Fairfax said. “Since I announced my candidacy, this campaign has been about the future, about building a Virginia where all of us have the opportunity to rise.”
Most saw victories by Democrats as a referendum on President Donald Trump, whose record low job approval rating has shrunk to 39 percent according to various reports.
Republicans lost races for governor in Virginia, where Ralph Northam easily beat Trump-backed Ed Gillespie, and in New Jersey, where former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy won election as governor, defeating Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Also, in Virginia, attorney general Mark Herring, a Democrat, won reelection over Republican John Adams while Democrats gained at least 10 seats in the House of Delegates.
The party also won key mayoral races in New York, Charlotte, Stamford, Conn., and St. Petersburg and, in a direct rebuke of Trump and Republicans who have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid under former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
On Twitter University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato wrote that the results were a “backlash to Trump and Trumpism, pure and simple.”
Results may have been helped by a strong get out to vote campaign launched by the NAACP. The legendary civil rights organization and its approximately 500,000 adult and youth members around the country were on the frontlines committed to raising awareness for political, educational, social and economic equality of minorities in the electoral process, the organization said in a statement posted on its website.
“The NAACP is actively engaged in increasing the African American responsiveness of citizens to be fully engaged in the democratic process,” the statement read.
Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s outgoing Democratic governor, told reporters that the election night victories were indeed a springboard for future elections, including the 2020 presidential race.
“This was a spark plug,” McAuliffe said. “This is the revitalization of the Democratic Party in America.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said voters clearly sent a message to Trump. “A resounding defeat tonight for President Trump,” Biden tweeted. “Voters across the country rejected the ugly politics we have seen this past year. Instead, they chose candidates who unite and inspire us.”
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus also engaged voters. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), urged everyone to vote. “The vote is precious, almost sacred,” Lewis said. “It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society [so] use it.”
And, if that admonition wasn’t enough, the legendary civil rights leader reminded voters why participating is so important. “I was beaten, left bloody and unconscious so that every American has the right to vote,” Lewis said. “Friends of mine gave their lives. Do your part. Vote.”