NEWTON, Mass. (AP) - Donald Berwick, a former top health care official in President Barack Obama's administration, announced Monday that he was entering for race for governor of Massachusetts.
In a written statement, Berwick, a pediatrician from Newton and Harvard Medical School professor, said he made the decision to seek the Democratic nomination in 2014 after speaking with residents around the state in the past few months.
"As a doctor, an educator, an innovator and someone who has dedicated his professional career to making things work better and to helping people - I am ready to lead," said Berwick.
Berwick, 66, formerly headed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and had been tapped by Obama to lead the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. But he stepped down after Republicans succeeded in blocking his confirmation by the Senate in November 2011.
Berwick's statements as an academic praising Britain's government-run health care had been a source of controversy in Washington, though he later told Congress that he did not believe the British system should be copied in the United States.
Two-term Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick is not seeking re-election. Other Democrats considering a run for governor include state Treasurer Steven Grossman, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, and state Sen. Daniel Wolf, of Harwich.
Joseph Avellone, a life sciences company executive and former Wellesley selectmen, is the only other announced Democratic hopeful.
Potential candidates on the Republican side include Charles Baker, the 2010 GOP nominee for governor.
Berwick said in his statement that he would launch a formal campaign announcement tour at a later time.