Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick, a former Massachusetts governor who jumped into the Democratic presidential primary months after most of his competitors did, has now ended that bid.

Patrick announced his decision on Wednesday, a day after the New Hampshire primary.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is officially joining the 2020 Democratic presidential race less than three months before voters start casting ballots.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experiences and depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country," Patrick said in an announcement video published online Thursday morning.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is making a last-minute entry into the crowded Democratic presidential primary.

A source with direct knowledge of his decision tells NPR that Patrick has been making calls to Massachusetts and national elected officials and supporters to brief them on his plans and that he plans to formally enter the race as soon as Wednesday night.

Patrick's decision is about as last minute as it gets for a candidate who still wants to compete in the key early primary states: New Hampshire's filing deadline is Friday.

Few things in life are more personal or emotional than the death of a parent. For the family of George H.W. Bush this past week, that experience was fodder for wall-to-wall TV news coverage and the front page of every newspaper.

As the patriarch of the Bush family was laid to rest, the ceremonies served as a glaring example of how the families of presidents — and presidential candidates — sign away their privacy at the start of a campaign.

The holiday dinner conversations are going to be intense in several high-profile Democratic households in the coming weeks, as potential candidates near decisions on whether to run for president in 2020.

Even as their staffs and political advisers have already begun scouting out office space, interviewing potential aides, and plotting out strategy for the 2020 presidential election, most haven't completely made up their minds about entering what's expected to be one of the most crowded primary contests in history.