By Christina Hager

MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has officially entered the race for the White House. “If running for president is a Hail Mary under any circumstances, this is like a Hail Mary from two stadiums over,” said Patrick.

One day before the deadline to get his name on the first-in-the-nation primary ballot, Patrick filed his paperwork with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

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“I think that there is a sort of once-in-a-lifetime appetite today to bring big solutions,” he said, sitting for his first press conference as an official candidate for president.

Deval Patrick and his wife Diane filed papers Thursday to run in the 2020 New Hampshire presidential primary. (WBZ-TV)

He said his wife Diane’s battle with cancer prevented him from entering the race earlier. Now she’s cancer free, and Patrick sees an opening. “I want to be in places where people feel left out, and left behind by the political process, and the system, and our economy,” Patrick said.

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What makes him different from the other Democratic candidates? “Well first of all, a lot of what we’ve been talking about, I’ve done,” he said.

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick orders lunch and greets locals at the Bridge Cafe in Manchester, NH. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

As Massachusetts governor he had plenty of critics, but enough support to serve two terms. He said he left Massachusetts “at the top in the nation in student achievement, in healthcare coverage, in veterans’ services, and entrepreneurial activity.”

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Some wonder if voters will be as open to him in other states. He started working on that a couple hours after he filed, hitting a local diner in Manchester called the Bridge Café. He shook hands, chatted with voters, and took selfies, before heading back to Massachusetts, and then on to California.

Christina Hager