71st Governor of Massachusetts
January 4, 2007 – January 8, 2015
United States Assistant Attorney General
April 22, 1994 – January 20, 1997
Deval Laurdine Patrick
July 31, 1956 (age 59)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Harvard College (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Deval Laurdine Patrick (born July 31, 1956) is an American politician and civil rights lawyer who served as the 71st governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, Patrick served as the United States assistant attorney general for the civil rights division under President Bill Clinton. He was first elected in 2006, succeeding Mitt Romney who chose not to run, and re-elected in 2010. He is the first and currently, the only African-American to have served as governor of Massachusetts.
Born to and raised by a single mother on the South Side of Chicago, Patrick earned a scholarship to Milton Academy in Massachusetts in the eighth grade. He went on to attend Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was president of theHarvard Legal Aid Bureau. After graduating, he practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later joined a Boston law firm, where he was named a partner, at age 34. In 1994, Bill Clinton appointed him as the United States assistant attorney General for the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice, where he worked on issues including racial profiling and police misconduct.
Under his governorship, Patrick oversaw the implementation of the state's 2006 health care reform program which had been enacted under Mitt Romney, increased funding to education and life sciences, won a federal Race to the Top education grant, passed an overhaul of governance of the state transportation function, signing a law to create the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, increased the state sales tax from 5% to 6.25%, and raised the state's minimum wage from $8 per hour to $11 per hour by 2017. Under Patrick, Massachusetts joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in an effort to reduce greenhouse gasemissions, and the planned introduction of casinos in Massachusetts. His second term began on January 6, 2011, and in an interview with The Boston Globe, Patrick declared he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Patrick has been named by USA Today as a possible Obama nominee to fill the U.S. Supreme Court associate justice seat, vacated by the February 2016 death of Antonin Scalia.
1Early life and education
4Governor of Massachusetts
5Speculation of 2016 presidential run
Early life and education
Patrick was born, on July 31, 1956, in the South Side of Chicago, where his family resided in a two-bedroom apartment in the Robert Taylor Homes' housing projects. Patrick was born to his mother, Emily Mae (née Wintersmith), and his father, Laurdine "Pat" Patrick, a jazz musician in Sun Ra's band. In 1959, Patrick's father abandoned their family in order to play music in New York City and because he had fathered a daughter, La'Shon Anthony, by another woman. Deval reportedly had a strained relationship with his father, who opposed his choice of high school, but they eventually reconciled. Patrick was raised by his mother, who traces her roots to American slaves in the American South, in the state of Kentucky. The family spent many months living on welfare.
Patrick with future Supreme Court associate justice Elena Kagan at theHarvard Law School, in 2008.
While Patrick was in middle school, one of his teachers referred him to A Better Chance, a national non-profit organization for identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among academically gifted minority students, which enabled him to attend Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. Patrick graduated from Milton Academy in 1974 and went on to attend college, the first in his family. He graduated from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Fly Club, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in English and American literature, in 1978. He then spent a year working with the United Nations in Africa. In 1979, Patrick returned to the United States and enrolled at Harvard Law School. While in law school, Patrick was elected president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where he first worked defending poor families in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. At Harvard, Patrick won "Best Oralist" in the prestigious Ames Moot Court Competition, in 1981.
Patrick graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D., cum laude, in 1982. He proceeded to fail the State Bar of California exam twice, before passing on his third try. Patrick then served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for one year. In 1983, he joined the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), where he worked on death penalty and voting rights cases. While at LDF, he met Bill Clinton, the then Governor of Arkansas, when he sued Clinton in a voting case. In 1986, he joined the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow and was named partner in 1990, at the age of 34. While at Hill & Barlow he managed high-profile engagements such as acting as Desiree Washington's attorney in her civil lawsuit against Mike Tyson.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Patrick as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and he was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate. Federal affirmative action policy was under judicial and political review, and Patrick defended Clinton's policy. Patrick also worked on issues including racial profiling, police misconduct, and the treatment of incarcerated criminals."
Between 1995 and 1997, Patrick coordinated an investigation into a series of arsons of predominantly black churches across the South. The investigation brought together a number of state and federal agencies, and was the largest federal investigation in history until the time of 9/11. In the end, more than 100 arrests were made, but no evidence of national or regional conspiracy was found.
In 1997, Patrick returned to Boston to join the firm Day, Berry & Howard, and was appointed by the federal district court to serve as Chairman of Texaco's Equality and Fairness Task Force to oversee implementation of the terms of a race discrimination settlement. Working with employees at all levels, Patrick and his Task Force examined and reformed Texaco's complex corporate employment culture, and created a model for fostering an equitable workplace.
Some gay rights activists criticized him for his tenure on the United Airlines (UAL) board. During this time, the company originally fought an ordinance requiring that it offerdomestic partnership benefits but Patrick successfully encouraged UAL to offer such benefits to all employees, making it the first airline to do so.
In 1999, partly because of his work on the Equality and Fairness Task Force, Patrick was offered the job as General Counsel of Texaco, responsible for all of the company's legal affairs. While he continued his work transforming employment practices at the company, the majority of his time was devoted to exploring and working out a merger, ultimately announced in October 2000, with larger Chevron Corp.
In 2001, Patrick left Texaco to become the Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary at the The Coca-Cola Company. Patrick pushed for a thorough review of allegations that some workers at bottlers of Coke products in Colombia had been abused or even killed by paramilitary groups as a result of union organizing activity. Patrick concluded the allegations to be unsubstantiated and untrue, but counseled that the company allow an independent inquiry to lay all questions to rest. After initially supporting Patrick's view, then-CEO Douglas Daft changed his mind, precipitating Patrick's decision to leave Coke.
From 2004 to 2006, he served on the board of directors of ACC Capital Holdings, the parent company of Ameriquest and Argent Mortgage. Ameriquest was the largest lender of so-called subprime mortgages and was under investigation by Attorneys General across the country. Patrick joined the board at the request of Ameriquest's founder, Roland Arnall, who asked for his help managing the investigations and changing the company's culture. During his tenure on the board, Ameriquest and Argent originated over $80 billion in subprime mortgages, but those conducting the investigation said that at the time Patrick left Ameriquest the company was on the road to change.
Following his career as governor, Patrick joined the private, alternative asset management firm Bain Capital in 2015, where he is currently acting as a Managing Director.
Main article: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2006
In 2005, Patrick announced his candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts. He was at first seen as a dark horse candidate, facing veteran politicians Thomas Reilly and Chris Gabrielli in the Democratic primary. Patrick secured the nomination in the September primary, winning 49% of the vote in the three-way race. In the general election, Patrick faced Republican Lt. Governor Kerry Healey and Independent Massachusetts Turnpike Commission member Christy Mihos.
The general election was very heated, described by former Governor Michael Dukakis as "the dirtiest gubernatorial campaign in my memory". The majority of the negativity came from the Healey campaign and its supporters, for many reasons, including their reliance on attack ads, her supporters protesting at the homes of Patrick and campaign manager John E. Walsh, and documents leaked anonymously to the media about Patrick's brother-in-law's criminal history. Patrick faced criticism for having once written letters to the parole board describing correspondence from Benjamin LaGuer, a man convicted of a brutal eight-hour rape, as "thoughtful, insightful, eloquent, [and] humane". Patrick contributed $5,000 towards the DNA testing which linked LaGuer to the crime. However, once the DNA test proved LaGuer's guilt, Patrick with drew his support for the inmate's release.
Patrick won the general election with 55% of the vote, becoming the first African-American Governor of Massachusetts.
Main article: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2010
On April 2, 2009, Patrick announced alongside Lt. Governor Timothy Murray that they would both run for re-election. Patrick was opposed for the Democratic nomination byGrace Ross, the 2006 Green-Rainbow nominee for Governor, but she withdrew when she could not garner the amount of signatures needed to run.
In the general election Patrick faced Republican Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Treasurer Independent Tim Cahill. Patrick won the general election garnering 48% of the vote, compared to Baker and Cahill's 42-8% respectively.
Governor of Massachusetts
Before taking office, Patrick assembled a transition team headed by lawyer Michael Angelini, bank executive Ronald Homer, and Weld administration economic affairs secretaryGloria Cordes Larson. In his first meetings with the legislative leadership, he proposed his first action would be to hire 1,000 new police officers and to expand full-day kindergarten statewide.
Breaking with the tradition of being inaugurated in the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House, Patrick and Murray took their oaths of office, and Patrick delivered his inaugural address, outdoors on the West Portico of the State House facing Boston Common. This allowed a larger part of the public to witness the event, and was intended to signal a more open, transparent, and accessible government. In honor of his heritage, he took his oath of office on the Mendi Bible, which was given to then-CongressmanJohn Quincy Adams by the freed American slaves from the ship La Amistad. A series of regional inaugural balls, seven in total, were held to bring the inauguration to the citizens of the Commonwealth. The celebrations took place in Cape Cod, Worcester, Dartmouth, Pittsfield, Springfield, and Boston.
Patrick crafted and signed a bill that allows for the construction and operation of three resort-style casinos in the state. He argued that these casinos would generate over $2 billion for the state economy. He also touted that the casinos would create 30,000 construction jobs and 20,000 permanent jobs. Patrick proposed that the revenue generated would be spent to beef up local law enforcement, create a state gambling regulatory agency, repair roads and bridges, gambling addiction treatment and the remainder would go towards property tax relief.
Patrick's casino plan had faced strong opposition from Salvatore DiMasi, the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. DiMasi questioned Patrick's projections of new jobs, revenues to be generated and he was opposed to what he referred to as a casino culture, saying: "Do we want to usher in a casino culture– with rampant bankruptcies, crime and social ills– or do we want to create a better Massachusetts for all sectors of the society?" Casino gaming lobbying in Massachusetts has also received scrutiny for associations with the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal and efforts by the Mashpee Wampanoag people to secure rights to a casino outside of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick was among the top campaign contribution recipients from casino lobbying interests, and from financiers backing the Wampanoag casino interests.
On March 20, 2008, the Massachusetts House of Representatives rejected Patrick's casino bill by a vote of 108 to 46. Despite the overwhelming vote, questions were raised by critics of DiMasi as to the tactics he used to win. These included allegations that he promised a subsequent vote on a bill that would allow slot machines at the state's four racetracks and the pre-vote promotions of six lawmakers who had been thought to support the bill, but either abstained or voted against the bill. DiMasi denied that any promise had been made on the race track bill and denied that the promotions were connected to the casino bill vote.
Patrick's conduct was also criticized and his commitment to the bill questioned when it was revealed that he was not in the state on the day the bill was voted on in the legislature. As the bill was being voted down, Patrick was in New York City on personal business, finalizing a $1.35 million deal with Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House, to publish his autobiography.
By mid-2010, the house and senate passed a bill with plans for three resort-style casinos and two slot parlors. However, Patrick vetoed it as he previously stated that he would only accept one slot parlor. When the 2011 casino legislation was still in debate, an investigative report in The Boston Globe revealed the governor violated his self-imposed policy of not accepting money from or meeting with lobbyists for the gambling industry by accepting more than $6,000 in campaign contributions and meeting with and attending fundraisers hosted by gaming lobbyists.
Patrick signed the legislation into law in December 2011. Its implementation, however, has seen hurdles and delays. The Governor's point man on crafting gaming legislation and negotiating a state compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Assistant Secretary for Policy & Economic Development Carl Stanley McGee, was forced to resign from his appointment to direct the newly formed Massachusetts Gaming Commission following reports of 2007 charges that he molested a child in Florida. Stan McGee was forced to return to his economic development post where he still oversees casino policies for the Governor. The scandal resulted in the Massachusetts legislature passing a bill and overriding a veto by Governor Patrick requiring background checks on casino regulators.
In June 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a referendum to repeal legislation permitting casino gambling could appear on the November ballot, throwing the prospects of the casino legislation into question.
In 2010, Patrick pushed for legislation to limit the purchase of firearms, citing a series of gun violence incidents and violent crime in Boston. In 2011, Patrick proposed new legislation that would require more stringent regulations on firearms. During an event surrounding the announcement, Patrick said one of his main goals was to "stop children from killing children." Patrick also reported that he would ask for $10 million in private and public funding to help "fill the gaps." Reacting to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in 2013 Patrick proposed stricter gun control laws, including a limit of one firearm purchase a month and closing the gun show loophole.
Throughout his term in office, Patrick has made achieving "world-class public education" a main priority of his administration. Patrick also committed a historic amount of public funds to Massachusetts schools, introduced legislation to tackle a persistent education gap among minority students, and won the national Race to the Top competition. Patrick now supports a doubling of the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. In his first year in office, Patrick proposed making community college free to all Massachusetts high school graduates.
Patrick favored the legalization of same-sex marriage because of the fundamental principle that "citizens come before their government as equals". He worked with the state legislature to prevent a ballot measure eliminating same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, which protected the state's first-in-the-nation same-sex marriage allowance.
Patrick proposed a bill that would streamline Massachusetts' permit appeals process for wind-energy projects. The Wind Energy Sitting Reform bill would reduce the permitting process from the current[when?] litigation limbo to nine to 19 months.
Patrick made expanding renewable energy a focus of his second term, but faced a setback when lawmakers failed to raise caps on solar generation in Massachusetts and to expand the amount of hydropower purchased by utility companies from Canada.
The legislatively chartered Transportation Finance Commission (TFC) reported in 2007 that over the next 20 years there would be $15–$19 billion gap between revenues and necessary expenditures, just to maintain the existing transportation system in Massachusetts. The Commission identified several reforms and revenue options to close the gap. The Patrick Administration lobbied for and passed a major transportation reform bill, which incorporated many of the TFC-recommended reforms, and which created the Massachusetts Department of Transportation by merging smaller transportation agencies.
Patrick proposed raising the state gas tax by 19¢ per gallon to forestall Massachusetts Turnpike toll and MBTA fare increases, fully fund Regional Transit Authority and Turnpike operations, and address part of the capital shortfall identified by the TFC, but this was defeated in the state legislature. Instead, a sales tax increase of 1.25% was passed, with part of that dedicated to transportation. This was enough to prevent the short-term toll and fare increases, but did not address the long-term funding gap.
Patrick has been a supporter of the South Coast Rail Link project.
In response to the influx of children from Central America crossing the US border in the summer of 2014, Patrick proposed taking 1,000 migrants to be housed at various sites in Massachusetts, until they can be processed at immigration centers.
Top: Paul G. Kirk (D), Patrick's first Senate appointment.
Bottom: Mo Cowan (D), Patrick's second Senate appointment.
On September 24, 2009, Patrick appointed Paul G. Kirk as the interim U.S. senator in the wake of Ted Kennedy's death.
On January 30, 2013, Patrick chose his former chief-of-staff William "Mo" Cowan to serve as interim U.S. senator until a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Secretary of State designate John Kerry.
In the early months of Patrick's administration, a series of decisions the governor later conceded as "missteps" brought substantial unfavorable press. These included spending almost $11,000 on drapery for the governor's state house suite, changing the state's customary car lease from a Ford Crown Victoria to a Cadillac (thus earning Patrick the snide nickname "Deville"), and hiring Amy Gorin, an assistant who had previously helped chair his election campaign, as a staff assistant to Diane Patrick, the Commonwealth's First Lady, at an annual salary of almost $75,000. Emerging from a weekend of working on the state's budget and calling for cuts in services to taxpayers, Patrick responded in a February 20, 2007 press conference that "I realize I cannot in good conscience ask the agencies to make those choices without being willing to make them myself." Patrick subsequently reimbursed the Commonwealth for the cost of the drapery and furniture purchased for the state house, and the additional monthly difference in his car lease. Gorin later resigned.
Later in the same month Patrick again came under fire, this time for contacting Citigroup Executive Committee chair and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin on behalf of the financially beleaguered mortgage company Ameriquest, a subsidiary of ACC Capital Holdings, that had been accused of predatory lending practices and of which Patrick is a former board member. Both Citigroup and ACC Capital Holdings have substantial holdings in Massachusetts. Patrick attempted to deflect criticism, claiming he was calling not as governor but as a private citizen. Later Patrick backed down, stating "I appreciate that I should not have made the call. I regret the mistake."
In December 2008, Patrick faced criticism from Massachusetts Republicans for the hiring of attorney and real estate consultant Dana Harrell to the newly created position of state Director of Real Estate Services. Harrell is a neighbor of Deval Patrick in Milton, and he and his wife have contributed to the governor's election campaign and to the Democratic State Committee. The appointment to the $120,000-per-year position came at a time when the state faced a $1.4 billion revenue shortfall which caused Patrick to lay off 1,000 state workers and cut state aid to towns and cities.
On September 17, 2014, Patrick fired the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board chair Saundra Edwards and placed director Jeanne Holmes on paid administrative leave because they pressured the board to force Governor Patrick's brother-in-law to register as a sex offender, based on his conviction for raping Patrick’s sister.
In June 2015, the Boston Herald reported that the Patrick's administration secretly diverted nearly $27 million in government funds to off-budget accounts that paid for trade junkets tab, advertising contracts, and a deal with a federally subsidized tourism venture backed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. According to the Herald, state legislators never approved the funding, which began in 2009 when Patrick's office directed quasi-public state agencies, including the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and Massport to begin funding off-budget trusts. The Associated Press reported that Speaker Robert DeLeo called for review of the use of trust Patrick.
Drug addiction: In September 2014, Governor signed a law requiring health insurers to extend coverage to people struggling with drug addiction by covering up to two weeks of inpatient treatment. The law was seen in the light of states determination to battle opioid drug abuse. The state's bill is seen in the broader contest of state government battling the soaring rates opioid drug abuse, following a $20 million package introduced in June consisting of proposals targeting the problem.
Abortion: In the month of July 2014, Patrick signed a bill that will allow police to order anti-abortion protesters away from clinic entrances, if hindering public access.
The Patrick Cabinet
2007 – 2015
2007 – 2013
Secretaries of Executive Departments
Health and Human Services
2007 – 2013
2013 – 2015
Energy and Environmental Affairs
2007 – 2011
2011 – 2014
2014 – 2015
Kevin M. Burke
2007 – 2010
Mary Elizabeth Heffernan
2010 – 2013
2013 – 2015
Labor and Workforce Development
2007 – 2010
Joanne F. Goldstein
2010 – 2014
2014 – 2015
Transportation and Public Works (until 2009)
2007 – 2009
Department of Transportation (from 2009)
Jeffrey B. Mullan
2009 – 2011
Richard A. Davey
2011 – 2015
Administration and Finance
2007 – 2009
2009 – 2012
2013 – 2015
Education (created in 2008)
2008 – 2013
2013 – 2015
Housing and Economic Development
2007 – 2009
2009 – 2015
Jennifer Davis Carey
Michael E. Festa
2007 – 2009
Ann L. Hartstein
2009 – 2015
Thomas G. Kelley
2007 – 2011
2011 – 2015
2007 – 2008
Speculation of 2016 presidential run
Patrick speaking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
After his speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, a reporter asked if Patrick was interested in a 2016 presidential bid. He responded, "Just chatter... I'm gonna finish my term [as governor] in 2014. I'm gonna return to the private sector where I've spent … most of my career." However, he would not rule out a run in the more distant future.
After Obama's 2008 election as president, speculation arose that Patrick would be chosen by Obama to serve as United States attorney general, but the post ultimately went to Eric Holder. Following the 2012 presidential election, Patrick was considered a potential successor to Holder, though he had said he would not consider any other position as long as he remained governor. Speculation grew once again, in September 2014, when Holder announced his intention to step down.
In July 2013, Patrick unequivocally ruled out a presidential bid in 2016, stating that he intended to go back into the private sector, following the completion of his second term as governor.
Following allegations of plagiarism Patrick came to the defense of presidential candidate Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries, when it was reported that some key phrases from an Obama's stump speech were very similar to words used during Patrick's own 2006 gubernatorial run. The charges were largely dismissed, after Patrick explained that he had encouraged their use.
During the 2012 Presidential election, he served as a surrogate for the Obama campaign. Patrick generated controversy, when he defended the business practices of the Boston-based venture capital firm Bain Capital, which was founded by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee; a position in direct opposition to the Obama campaign.
Democratic gubernatorial primary 2006
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Election 2006
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Election 2010
Patrick and his wife Diane, a lawyer specializing in labor and employment law, married in 1984. They have lived in Milton, Massachusetts since 1989 and have two daughters, Sarah and Katherine. In July 2008, Katherine publicly announced that she is a lesbian, and mentioned that her father did not know this while he was fighting against a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have banned same-sex marriage. In a joint interview Patrick expressed support for his daughter and said he was proud of her.In September 2011, his daughter Sarah married Marco Morgese, a former Italian soldier. On May 20, 2013, Patrick became a grandfather when Sarah and her husband gave birth to their first child, a son Gianluca Noah Patrick Morgese.
In addition to his Milton home, Patrick and his family own a home in Richmond, Massachusetts. In 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn renamed a part of Wabash Avenue in Chicago, where Patrick grew up, "Deval Patrick Way" in Patrick's honor. On May 28, 2015, Patrick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by Harvard University.