Deval Patrick

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Deval Patrick
Deval Patrick.jpg
Governor of Massachusetts
Former officeholder
In office
January 4, 2007 - January 8, 2015
PredecessorMitt Romney (R)
Base salary$151,800
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Campaign $$30,540,206
Term limitsNone
High schoolMilton Academy (1974)
Bachelor'sHarvard College (1978)
J.D.Harvard Law School (1981)
Date of birthJuly 31, 1956
Place of birthChicago, Illinois
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Deval Laurdine Patrick (b. July 31, 1956, Chicago, Illinois) is the former Democratic Governor of Massachusetts. He first won election to the statewide office in November 2006 and took office on January 4, 2007. He was the first African-American governor in Massachusetts history and the second in the history of the United States.

After winning re-election in 2010, Patrick stated that he would not seek a third term as governor in the 2014 elections.[1]


Patrick was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, into an African-American family living on welfare and residing in a two-bedroom tenement. In 1959, his father Laurdine "Pat" Patrick, a member of jazz musician Sun Ra's band, left his wife Emily,[2] son Deval, and daughter Rhonda (a year Deval's senior) in order to play music in New York City[3] and because he had fathered a daughter by another woman.[4]

While Deval 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 students of African-American descent, which enabled him to attend Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts.[5][6] Patrick graduated from Milton Academy in 1974 and from Harvard College (with a concentration 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 Legal Aid Bureau, where he first worked defending poor families in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.[7]

After receiving his J.D. from Harvard Law School, Patrick worked as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, then became an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) in New York City. While working with LDF, Patrick met future President Bill Clinton, then serving as Governor of Arkansas. Clinton was being sued over a voting rights case, and the two worked out a settlement. Also while working with LDF, Patrick married Diane Bemus, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. In 1986 Patrick went to work as a private attorney for Hill and Barlow, a now-dissolved Boston law firm, and became a partner in 1990. He also continued doing volunteer work for LDF and for other civil rights causes. Patrick also represented Desiree Washington, a former Rhode Island beauty queen whom former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was convicted of raping in the early 1990s. She filed a civil suit in 1992 in US District Court in Indianapolis, which was settled in 1995.


  • Milton Academy (1974)
  • Bachelor's degree in English and American literature - Harvard College (1978)
  • Juris Doctor - Harvard Law School (1981)

Political career

Governor of Massachusetts (2007-2015)

Patrick was first elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2006 and won re-election in 2010. He has decided not to run for a third term in 2014.

Response to the 2014 illegal immigration surge

See also: 2014 illegal immigration surge

In response to the 2014 illegal immigration surge, Patrick gave a speech proposing two locations to temporarily house the undocumented immigrant children as they were processed.[8]

“I believe that we will one day have to answer for our actions — and our inactions. My faith teaches that “if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him,” but rather “love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”[9]

Tax, transportation finance legislation

After striking down Patrick's proposed amendment to increase the state gasoline tax to account for the loss of toll road revenues, the state legislature overrode Patrick's veto of the transportation finance bill it was meant to accompany. Patrick vetoed the bill after the legislature denied his request to add an automatic 3-cent increase to the gasoline tax in the event that tolls on a section of the Massachusetts Turnpike expire in 2017. On July 24, 2013, the house voted 123-33 to overturn the veto, with the Senate voting 35-5. The votes were mostly along party lines with all 30 House Republicans voting to sustain the veto. The bill increased the gasoline tax by 3-cent per gallon, the cigarette tax by $1 per pack, and introduced a mandatory state sales tax (6.25 percent) be paid by computer software and services companies.

Despite his veto, Patrick called the legislation a "good bill," leading Transportation Committee co-chair William Straus (D) to note that most bills could be better, and that it was no argument to send the transportation bill back. House Republicans decried the bill, with Viriato deMacedo and Marc Lombardo arguing that the software sales tax would make the state less attractive to the tech industry, and George Peterson voicing skepticism over the amount of revenue to be brought in; and Minority Leader Brad Jones predicting that higher taxes on increasing gas prices would have a negative effect at the polls in 2014. At the time of its passage, the legislation was expected to bring $500 million in new taxes for use in expanding and revitalizing the state's transit network, as well as closing the budget deficit at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.[10][11][12]

Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")

In December, 2012, Patrick declined to enter Massachusetts into the federal health-exchange system established under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," in favor of setting up a state-based system.[13] Massachusetts is one of 18 states - including Colorado, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Washington - that decided to create and run individual health-exchange systems by the December 14, 2012 deadline. The exchange is an online marketplace for citizens to purchase health insurance.[14][15]

Gun control

Patrick pushed for renewal of the national assault weapons ban and proposed legislation to prohibit gun owners from buying more than one firearm every 30 days.[16]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Patrick was ranked number 7 (tie). The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[17][18]

Judicial appointments

As governor, Patrick was responsible for appointing judges to Massachusetts state courts. In Massachusetts, the governor selects a judge to fill a vacancy on a court. Before a judge can take office, she or he must be approved by the Governor's Council. For a list of all of Patrick's appointees, see Judgepedia's page on his appointments.


Breaking with the tradition of being inaugurated in the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House, Deval Patrick and Tim Murray took the oath 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 and take part first hand in the event, and was intended to signal more open, transparent, and accessible government.[19] The governor-elect was facing the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, just across Beacon Street, a memorial to the first African American regiment in the American Civil War. He took his oath of office on the Mendi Bible, which was given to then-Congressman John Quincy Adams by the freed slaves from the ship La Amistad[20].

A series of regional inaugural balls, seven in all, were held to bring the inauguration to the citizens of the commonwealth. These celebrations took place on Cape Cod, in Worcester, Dartmouth, Pittsfield, and Boston.[21]


Early months

Early on in Patrick's administration, a series of decisions the governor later conceded as missteps brought substantial unfavorable press. Such decisions include spending almost $11,000 on drapery for the governor's state house suite, changing the state's customary car lease from a Crown Victoria to a Cadillac, and hiring a staff assistant (who had previously helped chair his election campaign) for 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,"[22] 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. First Lady Diane Patrick's staff assistant, Amy Gorin, resigned.[23] 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 of which Patrick is a former board member. Both Citigroup and ACC Capital Holdings have substantial holdings in Massachusetts.[24] 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."

September 11th memorial speech

Patrick's 2007 September 11th memorial service speech was reviewed as insensitive by several newspapers and relatives of the victims due to his comment that, "It was a mean and nasty and bitter attack on the United States. But it was also about the failure of human beings to understand each other and to learn to love each other. It seems to me that lesson at that morning is something that we must carry with us every day." Jim Ogonowski, a brother of the 9/11 victim and a Republican congressional candidate, called the statements "completely inappropriate."[25][26]

Fly Club

During the 2006 election, Patrick's membership in the historically elitist Fly Club drew the sincerity of his progressive and populist political mantra into question.[27] Patrick claimed to have left the club in 1983, when he realized the discrepancy. Still, the criticism he drew could be compared to that of his Democratic colleague, Ted Kennedy, for membership in another final club while at Harvard.


In 2008 Governor Patrick proposed legislation to allow casino gambling in the state to help generate revenues to address budget deficits and associated employment.[28] The plan faced opposition from Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi who questioned the governor's projections of new jobs, revenues to be generated and 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?"[29] Casinos and the Indian gaming lobby in Massachusetts have 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 both 2010 and 2009 Governor Deval Patrick was among the top campaign contribution recipients from casino lobbying interests, and from financiers backing the Wampanoag casino interests.[30][31][32] The House rejected the governor’s first plan but subsequent proposals have been moved forward in the legislature each year. 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 and a require a controversial carve-out for an Indian gaming operations slotted for the Massachusetts Wampanoag tribe.[33] Patrick has been further criticized for being among the top recipients of casino lobbying money from the Wampanoag's who are backed by a major Malaysian gambling syndicate.[34]

Carl Stanley McGee

In February 2008, Carl Stanley McGee, who served as assistant secretary for policy and planning in the Patrick administration, was placed on unpaid leave pending the resolution of criminal charges against him in Florida. McGee was arrested on December 28, 2007 at the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Lee County, Florida and charged with sexual battery for sexually assaulting[35] a 15 year old boy who was also a guest at the hotel. McGee had been the Governor's point man pushing casino and Indian gaming legislation through the Massachusetts State House. By October 2010, McGee had been reinstated into the Patrick Administration.[36]

Obama plagiarism controversy

Patrick was the national co-chairman of Senator Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008[37] and stumped for his campaign.[38] In Feb. 2008, the campaign of Obama's rival Hillary Clinton accused Obama of plagiarism for lifting a portion of a speech Patrick made during his 2006 Massachusetts campaign for use in his Wisconsin primary stump speech.[39][40]. Patrick later rebuffed this accusation, stating, "I am neither surprised nor troubled that he used the words I asked him to use of my own."[41] Obama said, "[T]he notion that I had plagiarized from somebody who was one of my national co-chairs, who gave me the line and suggested that I use it, I think, is silly."[42]

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (1994-1997)

In 1994, Clinton appointed Patrick Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. As an Assistant Attorney General, Patrick worked on issues including racial profiling, police misconduct, fair lending enforcement, human trafficking, and discrimination based on gender and disability. He led what was (before the September 11, 2001 attacks) the largest federal criminal investigation in history as co-chair of the Task Force investigating the arsons of synagogues and African American churches in the South. He had a key role as an adviser to post-apartheid South Africa during this time and helped draft that country's civil rights laws.[43]

His tenure was not without controversy. Federal affirmative action policy was under judicial and political review, and Patrick was thrust into the President's policy defense. Patrick also enforced federal laws concerning treatment of incarcerated criminals, to the extent that one warden called him a "zealot."[44] He has also been criticized for his role in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals case Piscataway v. Taxman, wherein, due to budget constraints, a white woman named Sharon Taxman was laid off rather than an African American woman of identical qualifications, because the school wanted diversity on its teaching staff. Taxman sued and prevailed in US District Court, but Patrick encouraged the Justice Department, which had supported Taxman in the Bush administration, to withdraw from the case. Taxman, who was subsequently rehired, eventually settled her suit.

On The Issues Vote Match

Deval Patrick's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Patrick is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. Patrick received a score of 71 percent on social issues and 24 percent on economic issues.[45]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[46]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Opposes
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Strongly Favors
Privatize Social Security Unknown Never legalize marijuana Strongly Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[45] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.



See also: Possible presidential candidates, 2016

Patrick has expressed interest in a possible run for president in 2016.[47]


See also: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2014

Patrick did not run for a third term as Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election.[48]


See also: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2010

Patrick defeated Republican challenger Charles D. Baker and independent candidate Tim Cahill.

Massachusetts Gubernatorial/Lieutenant Gubernatorial, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDeval Patrick/Tim Murray Incumbent 48.5% 1,112,283
     Republican Charles D. Baker/Richard R. Tisei 42.1% 964,866
     Independent Tim Cahill/Paul Loscocco 8% 184,395
     Green Jill E. Stein/Richard P. Purcell 1.4% 32,895
Total Votes 2,294,439
Election Results via Massachusetts Secretary of State


In 2005, Patrick announced his candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts. He was at first seen as a dark horse candidate, facing veteran Massachusetts campaigners Tom Reilly and Chris Gabrielli in the Democratic primary. The Patrick campaign gained momentum at the Democratic State Caucuses, where it organized their supporters, many of whom had never been involved in such party processes before, to win twice as many pledged delegates as the Reilly campaign.

Patrick secured the nomination in the September 2006 primary, winning 49 percent of the vote in a three-way race and carrying every county in the state. In the general election, he faced Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, a Republican, independent Christy Mihos, and Grace Ross of the Green-Rainbow Party and received 56% of the vote and a full 20 percentage points ahead of the second-place finisher, Kerry Healey. Patrick's margin of victory had long "coat-tails," increasing the Democratic party margin, already a supermajority, in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court, the state's legislature.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Patrick is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Patrick raised a total of $30,540,206 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 11, 2013.[49]

Deval Patrick's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Massachusetts Not up for election $580,737
2010 Governor of Massachusetts Won $12,632,398
2008 Governor of Massachusetts Not up for election $3,728,953
2006 Governor of Massachusetts Won $13,598,118
Grand Total Raised $30,540,206

2006 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Deval Patrick's donors each year.[50] Click [show] for more information.


Deval and his wife, Diane Patrick (born 1951), 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.

Recent news

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Deval Patrick News Feed

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Contact Information

Capitol Address:
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: (617) 725-4005
Toll Free Phone: (617) 727-3666
Fax: (617) 727-9725

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Boston Globe, "Patrick says he will serve out full term," January 4, 2011
  2. Ancestry of Deval Patrick
  3. Beating odds, a uniter rose from Chicago's tough side, The Boston Globe, May 24, 2006
  4. "Patrick shaped by father's absence," The Boston Globe, March 25], 2007
  5. Candidate Profile: Deval Patrick Beating odds, a uniter rose from Chicago's tough side, The Boston Globe, May 24, 2006
  6. A Better Chance Fall 2005 Newsletter, A Better Chance, October 30, 2006
  7. Massachusetts Governor, " Governor Deval Patrick," accessed June 15, 2013
  8. Washington Post, "At least 32 governors have weighed in on the border crisis. Here’s what each has said," July 23, 2014
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. State House News Service, "UPDATE: Mass. Legislature enacts tax-raising bill," July 24, 2013
  11. Associated Press, "Mass. Legislature overrides Patrick veto; gas, tobacco taxes going up next week," July 24, 2013
  12. Associated Press, "Mass. lawmakers override transportation veto," July 24, 2013 (dead link)
  13. The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
  14. The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
  15. The Daily Times, "Governor Susana Martinez to tackle state-based health exchange," January 9, 2013
  16. USA Today, "Where each state stands on gun-control legislation," January 14, 2013
  17. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  18. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  19. review cool to inaugural speech plan The Boston Globe, December 14, 2006
  20. Patrick to take oath on bible The Boston Globe, January 2, 2007
  21. Gov. Elect Deval Patrick To Hold 7 Inaugural Balls (dead link) CBS4 Boston, December 6, 2006
  22. "Patrick to repay taxpayers for decor $10,000 spent for drapes; governor to offset car costs.", Frank Phillips and Andrea Estes, The Boston Globe, February 21, 2007, accessed March 17, 2007.
  23. Frank Phillips. "Patrick moves to shore up his staff" The Boston Globe, March 16, 2007) accessed March 19, 2007.
  24. "Patrick's Bad Call'" (dead link) WBUR, March 7, 2007) accessed March 17, 2007.
  25. defends Sept. 11 speech (dead link), The Boston Globe, September 13, 2007.
  26. Mark Steyn, "Looking for love in all the wrong places," The OC Register, September 15, 2007.
  27. [1], The Boston Globe, August 3, 2007.
  28. Casinos considered for state, Boston Globe, December 13, 2007.
  29. DiMasi scoffs at casino job plan, Boston Globe, March 4, 2008.
  30. The men and money behind the tribes (dead link), MetroWest Daily News, December 27, 2007.
  31. Gambling lobby spends big in Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune, March 10, 2010.
  32. 2010 banner year for Mass gaming lobbyists & their pols, WampaLeaks, June 17, 2011.
  33. House, Senate give final OK to casino bill, but Patrick vows veto as it stands, Daily Hampshire Gazette, August 2, 2010.
  34. Genting and Wampanoag gaming syndicate eyes Raynham, WampaLeaks, June 14, 2011.
  35. Allegations vs. Dem hack fly under the radar,The Boston Herald, February 13, 2008.
  36. Government and Markets Seminar, Northeastern University, November 2011.
  37. In mostly civil debate, Obama parries Clinton by Susan Milligan,, Feb. 21, 2008
  38. Patrick stumps for Obama by Christopher Loh, Boston Now, February 7th, 2008
  39. Real Clear Politics, Obama lifting words, February 18, 2008
  40. Yahoo News, Obama Borrowed Lines
  41. Raw Story, Deval Patrick: I asked Obama to use my words, February 19, 2008
  42. In mostly civil debate, Obama parries Clinton by Susan Milligan,, Feb. 21, 2008
  43. Boston University Law School Commencement Address (dead link) by Deval Patrick, May 22, 2005
    Quote: "I even helped to write the anti-discrimination laws for the new government of South Africa."
  44. Prison demands ‘over the top’ - N.Y. jail boss details ‘aggressive’ hounding by gov hopeful Boston Herald October 12, 2006.
  45. 45.0 45.1 On The Issues, "Deval Patrick Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  46. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  47. Boston Globe, Patrick says maybe to a run for Oval Office, February 24, 2014
  48. Boston Globe, "Grossman considering gun for governor in 2014," October 31, 2012
  49. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Deval L. Patrick," accessed July 11, 2013
  50. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Mitt Romney (R)
Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Charles D. Baker (R)