Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick visits Charleston days after entering race

VIDEO: Presidential hopeful Deval Patrick visits Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new Democrat in the presidential race made two stops in the Palmetto State Wednesday.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick entered the race last Thursday. Patrick became Massachusett’s first black governor and served from 2007 until 2015. He says he’s worked in business and as a civil rights laywer on the federal level.

He began the day with a visit to Claflin University in Orangeburg where he met with the student body leadership of both Claflin University and South Carolina State University.

He then traveled to Charleston where he visited the Eastside community and met with residents and community leaders. The meeting took place at the Eastside Community Development Corporation building, the neighborhood’s association.

Patrick also walked through the neighborhood and heard about concerns.

"I believe we should do policy as people live, which is not just in silos but understanding the interconnectedness," Patrick said. "Yes we do need an economy that's growing out to the middle and the marginalized, not just up to the well connected."

He ended his visit at Hannibal’s Kitchen.

Patrick says he planned to enter the democratic presidential race about a year ago, but after his wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer he postponed the campaign. Now she's cancer free.

“If I’m elected our government will be about everyone everywhere, it’s important that people feel important all the time and seen and heard all the time,” Patrick said.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick released a statement Tuesday night about Patrick’s first visit to South Carolina:

“Apparently one Massachusetts liberal wasn’t enough for the Democrat Party. Just like with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, we look forward to seeing Deval Patrick waste his time and money on this futile effort. South Carolina’s economy is booming because of President Trump and we look forward to seeing him re-elected in 2020.”

In the video announcing his presidential run, Patrick highlighted his poverty-stricken childhood on Chicago’s South Side, saying he’s running for the “people who feel left out and left back.”

Patrick made history as the first black governor of Massachusetts and has close ties to former President Barack Obama and his network of political advisers. But he faces significant fundraising and organizational hurdles this late in the race.

His announcement comes as some Democrats worry about the strength of the party’s current field of contenders.

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