December 5, 2018 / 3:13 PM / 13 days ago

Former Massachusetts Governor Patrick will not run for president: reports

FILE PHOTO: Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick stands to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 364th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - Democratic former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a close ally of former President Barack Obama, has opted not to launch a 2020 campaign for the White House, several news outlets reported on Wednesday.

Patrick, 62, has told close allies, staff and advisers of his decision, Politico reported, citing sources close to the governor. An official announcement was expected to come this week.

The reason behind his move was not immediately known.

Fresh off the November elections in which Democrats gained close to 40 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, members of the party are in the early stages of planning a 2020 challenge to Republican President Donald Trump.

More than two dozen potential contenders, ranging from former Vice President Joe Biden to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren to billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, have been mentioned in various news reports.

A representative of Bain Capital, a private investment firm where Patrick is a managing director, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He joined Bain in 2015.

Patrick, who served as governor from 2007 to 2015, was encouraged by close advisers and members of Obama’s inner circle to run in 2020, according to reports.

In 2014, Obama told a Boston television station that Patrick would make “a great president or vice president.”

Patrick graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994 as assistant attorney general over the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Jeffrey Benkoe

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