In another sign that Deval Patrick is ramping up his political profile ahead of a potential 2020 presidential run, onetime aides to the former Massachusetts governor Wednesday launched a federal political action committee to help Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.
A website for the Reason To Believe PAC — named for Patrick’s 2011 autobiography — says the committee has four goals: to support grass-roots organizing efforts across the country; to promote Patrick’s “positive vision” for Democrats in 2018; to help federal candidates who share his ideals and “commitment to the grassroots”; and to develop “a positive agenda for Democrats in 2018 and beyond.”
“In the coming months, we will be supporting candidates and causes that share Governor Deval Patrick’s view that we accomplish more when we turn to each other, not on each other,” read a statement posted on the PAC’s Facebook page. “As progressives, we can lead the country out of a dark chapter of division.”
The former aides who launched the PAC are Doug Rubin and John Walsh. Rubin said Patrick himself had nothing to do with launching the PAC and won’t be involved in its activities.
Such PACs are traditionally vehicles that political figures weighing presidential runs use to deepen their involvement in national politics by allowing them to travel the country and fund like-minded candidates.
Patrick has already acknowledged that a 2020 White House run is “on my radar screen” and he has recently begun to travel the country to help other campaigns, after largely withdrawing from politics in 2015, when he left office to work for Bain Capital.
Last month, he swooped into Texas to fire up volunteers for Colin Allred, the former Tennessee Titans linebacker who is trying to unseat Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican, in one of the most closely watched House districts in the country. Patrick also gave a keynote speech at an NAACP convention in San Antonio.
In December, Patrick spent a weekend in Alabama campaigning for Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones, days before Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore.
The Reason To Believe PAC is the second federal PAC affiliated with Patrick’s operation. In 2011, during another period when he was raising his national political profile, he created the Together PAC to help him travel the country and campaign for President Obama in 2012. The committee raised $667,000 but has been moribund since 2014, federal records show.