Editor’s Note: The full interview with former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is at the bottom of this story. Scroll further down the page to watch the full one-on-one conversation.
WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick knows what it’s like to make history. Behind former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, Patrick was the second Black man to become governor in the nation’s history.
Now with Wes Moore as Maryland’s governor-elect, Patrick has been there as a mentor and friend for the best-selling author and businessman who will become only the third African American in history elected to that office.
Both men talked regularly during Moore’s gubernatorial run.
In an interview with DC News Now, Patrick said he’s duly impressed with Moore. So what advice did he give to Moore on how to prepare for office?
“I’ve told him what he already knows which is that being first is exciting and important. At the same time, he has to remember he’s governor of all Marylanders and that’s an expectation they should have of him,” Patrick said.
Moore, who will be Maryland’s first-ever Black governor when he is sworn in on Jan. 18, has welcomed that relationship.
“Gov. Patrick is a friend and a mentor,” Moore told DC News Now in a recent interview. “And I know one of the things that he continues to remind me throughout this process, which I think is not just correct but important, is to say that while Maryland voted to make history… in electing its first Black governor, that’s not why they voted for you. They voted for you because they know that all these issues that you campaigned on are the issues in their lives.”
Patrick said that there will be expectations of Moore based on his racial background.
“The expectations of a Black governor, I think, are different in many respects,” he said. “In my case — and I think Gov. Wilder felt this as well — some issues that might in other circumstances be thought of as mainly local issues or issues that a town official or a city mayor would be responsible for, sometimes the community has expectations of you because you’re Black.”
That said, Patrick added, “and rather than resist that or be frustrated by it or what have you, celebrate it.”
Patrick was considered presidential material before he took office, just as Moore has been mentioned in recent weeks. It’s a topic both men have discussed.
“It’s not surprising. He’s a tremendously appealing public person now and he has an extraordinary background and he has tremendous potential,” Patrick said. “The most important thing is not to be seduced by the celebrity part of public or political life.”