Deval Laurdine Patrick is an American politician, civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman who served as the 71st governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015. He was first elected in 2006, succeeding Mitt Romney, who chose not to run for reelection to focus on his 2008 presidential campaign. He was reelected in 2010. He was the first African American Governor of Massachusetts and the first Democratic Governor of the state in 16 years since Michael Dukakis left office in 1991. Patrick served from 1994 to 1997 as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division under President Bill Clinton. He was briefly a candidate for President of the United States in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.