- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick downplayed talk of a future run for the White House on Monday, saying he’s focused on his day job and plans to return to the private sector when he leaves office in January.

Patrick also said he’s “not sending any signals or floating any trial balloons,” although he’s not closing the door on future political ambitions.

Patrick was responding to comments he made to Politico.com last month while attending the National Governors Association conference in Washington. Asked whether he could see himself at some point running for president. Patrick responded by saying “maybe.”

“It’s nothing I haven’t said before,” Patrick told reporters at the Statehouse on Monday, his first day back in Massachusetts after a vacation to Costa Rica.

Patrick, in his second term, has repeatedly said he might consider a return to public life in the future, just not immediately.

“I’m leaving open the possibility of a wonderful, full life of contributions after I have left this job,” Patrick said, adding “I’m going to focus on this job until the last day I have it and then I’m going to go into the private sector because I think I owe my wife and my family some time and some earnings.”

He’s also repeatedly ruled out any campaign in 2016.

“I have no plans and I have no plans to make plans,” Patrick said.

Although he’d brushed aside any immediate ambitions for higher office, Patrick has signaled he’s hoping to remain politically active in his post-Beacon Hill career. Last year he raised nearly $380,000 for his political action committee.

Patrick formed the Together PAC in 2011 to help pay for travels around the country campaigning on behalf of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Patrick has said he wants to “repurpose” the PAC to focus on supporting what he calls “grass-roots, conviction-based politics here in the commonwealth and elsewhere.”

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