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    Deval Patrick announces he won’t run for president in 2020, cites ‘cruelty of our elections process’

    At the Hynes Convention Center, Deval Patrick reacted after winning the election to become the new governor of  Massachusetts.
    JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF/FILE 2006
    At the Hynes Convention Center, Deval Patrick reacted after winning the election to become the new governor of Massachusetts.

    It’s now official — former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will not run for president in 2020.

    “I’ve been overwhelmed by advice and encouragement from people from all over the country, known and unknown,” Patrick said in a statement posted to Facebook Thursday. “But knowing that the cruelty of our elections process would ultimately splash back on people whom Diane and I love, but who hadn’t signed up for the journey, was more than I could ask.”

    Until recently, Patrick had been testing the waters for a nationwide campaign. He traveled widely to campaign for Democrats during the midterms, granted national media interviews, and assented to a lengthy profile in The New Yorker last month.

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    In his statement, Patrick reflected on the people he met while supporting congressional candidates during the midterm elections.

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    “The people I met don’t fit in a box,” he said. “They are much more than some oversimplified ‘voter demographic,’ with all the presumptions that go with that.”

    Patrick, 62, would have likely faced difficulties as a candidate. He is less well known than many national figures such as former vice president Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

    Patrick also noted that the 2020 election marked a chance for Democrats to not only win the votes of people across America but also “to win their respect and earn their help by showing up everywhere, engaging everyone, and making our case.”

    “America feels more ready than usual for big answers to our big challenges. That’s an exciting moment that I hope we don’t miss. I hope to help in whatever way I can. It just won’t be as a candidate for president,” Patrick said.

    Read Patrick’s full statement:

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    After a lot of conversation, reflection and prayer, I’ve decided that a 2020 campaign for president is not for me. I’ve been overwhelmed by advice and encouragement from people from all over the country, known and unknown. Humbled, in fact. But knowing that the cruelty of our elections process would ultimately splash back on people whom Diane and I love, but who hadn’t signed up for the journey, was more than I could ask.

    The past few months on the road in support of congressional candidates — from Texas to Mississippi to New Jersey to Georgia to North and South Carolina to Florida to Illinois — have been affirming. People across America are coming off the sidelines and getting engaged, taking responsibility for their own civic and political future. That’s exciting and important. I hope we keep giving them positive reasons to do so. The people I met don’t fit in a box. They are much more than some oversimplified “voter demographic,” with all the presumptions that go with that. They are living unique lives, in search, in not so many words, of economic security and social justice and meaning. And they sense that most of the time most of the political establishment sees only a cartoon version of them or overlooks them altogether.

    Democrats have a clear chance not just to win their votes but to win their respect and earn their help by showing up everywhere, engaging everyone, and making our case. Our case for opportunity, equality and fair play has its roots in the founding aspirations of America. And it turns out those values still matter to people. That is our civic faith, and we’ll have to take care to keep it now — because what’s at stake today is not just the case for our party or the qualifications of a given candidate, but the character of the country.

    America feels more ready than usual for big answers to our big challenges. That’s an exciting moment that I hope we don’t miss. I hope to help in whatever way I can. It just won’t be as a candidate for president. To all those who helped Diane and me think this through, thank you. We are grateful.

    Michael Levenson and Victoria McGrane constributed to this report. Abbi Matheson can be reached at abbi.matheson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AbbiMatheson