Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will join Democratic Congressional candidate Mary Barzee Flores in hopes of lifting her surging challenge in Florida’s 25th Congressional District.
Patrick will be part of a canvas launch in Hialeah, alongside the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and student activists from Parkland.
The arrival of a national figure and a coalition of volunteers around the national issue of gun violence shows the sudden level of competitiveness in Barzee Flores’ challenge of incumbent U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and amid hopes she can pull the sleeper upset of the season.
Patrick in 2014 signed sweeping gun legislation into law in Massachusetts, allowing authority more ability in denying firearm licenses to individuals and closing a number of loopholes on background checks.
The Democrat, just the second black governor in U.S. history, won the governor’s mansion in the Bay State in 2006 and won re-election in 2010. He’d previously worked as a U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights division during the Bill Clinton Administration under Attorney General (and South Florida native) Janet Reno.
Patrick also joins a long list of Democratic presidential hopefuls in 2020 who campaigned in Florida this year. And while his name doesn’t get rattled off as frequently as sittings senators like Cory Booker or Kamala Harris, Patrick in fact has proven to be the most successful fundraiser among those with ambitions of challenging President Donald Trump in two years.
Barzee Flores, in the wake of the mass school shooting at Parkland in February, turned to gun control as a signature issue. Parkland father Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie dies at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, cut an ad for Barzee Flores earlier this year.
The Brady Campaign endorsed Barzee Flores in August.
The GOTV canvass launch today is scheduled for 2 p.m. on 84th Street in Hialeah.