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Biography Deval Patrick

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Deval Patrick Deval Patrick
Deval Patrick
The 71st and current Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (since 2007).


Deval Patrick Biography

ENG: Deval Laurdine Patrick (born July 31, 1956) is the 71st Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A member of the Democratic Party, Patrick served as United States Assistant Attorney General under President Bill Clinton. He is the first African American to hold the office of Massachusetts governor.


Born and raised by a single mother on the South Side of Chicago, Patrick won 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 the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. After graduating he practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He later joined a Boston law firm, where he was named a partner at the age of 34. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Patrick Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, where he worked on issues including racial profiling and police misconduct. Patrick returned to Boston in 1997 to work in private law. In the following years he worked as general counsel for Texaco in New York City and Coca-Cola in Atlanta, which were both facing large racial discrimination settlements.

When he announced his candidacy for the 2006 gubernatorial election in Massachusetts, Patrick was initially seen as a dark horse candidate, but ultimately won the Democratic primary against veteran politicians Thomas Reilly and Chris Gabrielli. He went on to defeat Republican Lieutanent Governor Kerry Healey in the general election, and was inaugurated in January 2007. In his first term, Patrick oversaw the implementation of the state's 2006 health care reform program, increased funding to education and life sciences, won a federal Race to the Top education grant, passed an overhaul of state transportation industries to create the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, worked with the legislature to defend the legality of same-sex marriage, and increased the state sales tax from 5% to 6.25%. Under Patrick, Massachusetts joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and greatly expanded services to veterans. His two legislative battles to implement casino gambling failed: he could not win the approval of the House of Representatives in March 2008, and he vetoed a bill passed by the legislature in August 2010 for going too far.

Patrick was re-elected in the 2010 gubernatorial election against Republican Charlie Baker and Independent Tim Cahill. His second term began on January 6, 2011 and in an interview with the Boston Globe, Patrick declares he will not seek re-election in 2014.


Campaign for Governor

In 2005, Patrick announced his candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts. He was at first seen as a dark horse candidate, facing veteran Massachusetts campaigners Thomas "Tom" Reilly and Chris Gabrielli in the Democratic primary.

Patrick secured the nomination in the September 2006 primary, winning 49% of the vote in a three-way race and carrying every county in the state. In the general election, he faced Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, a Republican, Christy Mihos, running as an Independent, and Grace Ross, of the Green-Rainbow Party.



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. The governor-elect was facing the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, just across Beacon Street, a memorial to the first black regiment in the U.S. Civil War. He took his oath of office on the Mendi Bible, which was given to then-Congressman John Quincy Adams by the freed American slaves from the ship La Amistad in honor of his heritage.

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, Springfield, and Boston.


2010 Campaign for re-election

On April 2, 2009, Patrick confirmed that alongside Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, he would run for re-election as Governor of Massachusetts. On June 5, 2010, he was renominated by the Democrats and is running against Republican Charlie Baker, Independent Tim Cahill, and Green/Rainbow Jill Stein. A Rasmussen Reports poll released on September 28 showed Patrick leading Baker 47%-42%. The election is November 2, 2010.





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