LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential candidates (all times local):
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is introducing himself to thousands of Democratic activists in California with the message that he’s running to be the president for everyone, not just the party faithful.
Patrick says that doesn’t mean he’s running on a moderate agenda, but he didn’t delve into his own policy goals.
Patrick’s appearance Saturday at the California Democratic Party’s convention is his first at a major party gathering since his last-minute entrance into the presidential primary.
He says it was hard to tell what his reception was in the room, where he wasn’t met with either loud cheers or boos. He declined to tell reporters which states he plans to focus on in the less than three months before voting begins.
Patrick said his background growing up in poverty in Chicago and going on to work in government, non-profits and business make him a unique candidate in the crowded field. He defended his work at the private investment firm Bain Capital, saying he worked with companies focused on social good as well as building profits.
Front-running Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are skipping a major gathering for Democratic presidential candidates in California on Saturday.
Party leaders aren’t happy, but Bernie Sanders’ allies are pleased as can be, hoping to build his already aggressive organization in the state that awards the largest delegate prize of the primary season.
The event serves as an unofficial kickoff of the final sprint to California’s March 3 presidential primary, which offers the biggest delegate haul of any primary or caucus.
Many of the party’s most progressive voters were galvanized to become more involved in politics after Sanders’ 2016 presidential run. Sanders’ campaign has hired 40 staff members in California, far more than any of his competitors.