Deval Patrick, the former two-term Democratic governor of Massachusetts, plans to announce shortly that he will not run for president in 2020, according to a person close to Mr. Patrick.
Mr. Patrick had been discussing a possible run with associates and had been actively traveling around the country to support Democratic candidates in the midterm elections. But he had also expressed some reluctance about a possible presidential run, telling David Axelrod, a former Obama adviser, that he wasn’t sure there was a place for him.
“It’s hard to see how you even get noticed in such a big, broad field without being shrill, sensational or a celebrity — and I’m none of those things and I’m never going to be any of those things,” Mr. Patrick said in a podcast interview with Mr. Axelrod.
The person who confirmed Mr. Patrick’s decision, and spoke on condition of anonymity late Tuesday night to share confidential information, declined to say why Mr. Patrick would not run.
Mr. Patrick’s decision was first reported by Politico. He was not expected to make any announcement Wednesday due to the national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush.
Since leaving the governor’s office in 2015, Mr. Patrick had been a managing director for Bain Capital, running a $390 million social impact fund designed to invest in socially-responsible businesses. Some political observers had raised questions about whether his association with Bain might be considered a negative in a Democratic primary contest.
Mr. Patrick’s decision comes as roughly three-dozen other Democrats contemplate bids for the presidency, including two other prominent party leaders from Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Secretary of State John Kerry. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, asked about a presidential run last week, said he was “ruling it out,” and Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, said Tuesday he would not run after talking himself up for months.
Steve Elmendorf, a Washington lobbyist and former Democratic operative, said the large field of candidates said to be considering a run for the Democratic nomination will likely shrink dramatically.
“As they look at the enormity of it and the money and the staff, and the fact that Donald Trump will begin attacking you immediately and — do you really want to do this? And the big question with Deval Patrick and a lot of others in that group is, ‘Where do you get the money?’” Mr. Elmendorf said.
Mr. Patrick was one of several African-American politicians who were considering a Democratic nomination bid. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Senator Kamala Harris of California are expected to announce their intentions in the coming weeks.