- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is adding staff to his political action committee and wading into campaigns in Texas and Georgia as he expands his national political reach.

Patrick on Thursday said longtime aide and current chief of staff in the governor’s office - Brendan Ryan - would be joining his Together PAC.

The Democratic governor said the addition of Ryan will allow the PAC to send staff to help consult with candidates in other parts of the country.

Patrick said the PAC has already been active in the Texas governor’s race on the Democratic side and in a Senate contest in Georgia.

Patrick said that help sometimes involves writing checks to candidates, but more often consists of offering advice and helping candidates frame their arguments when talking with voters.

“We’re doing work with a number of candidates around the country in advancing what we’ve described before as conviction politics - people who are willing to not just accumulate political capital, but spend it,” Patrick told reporters Thursday.

In Texas, Patrick is supporting the candidacy of fellow Democrat Wendy Davis who is facing off against Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general in the governor’s race there. In Georgia, Patrick’s PAC is backing Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn.

Patrick said he’s also using his political muscle on behalf of Massachusetts U.S. Rep. John Tierney, who faces two Democratic challengers and Republican rival Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Tierney two years ago.

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

Last year he raised nearly $380,000 for his political action committee. In the first three month of this year he raised another $94,475 and ended March with $208,650 left in his account, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Patrick said while he’s used the PAC to make contributions to other Democrats, the PAC has also offered other kinds of support.

“We’ve been asked to help with tips on grassroots organizing … and also how people talk about issues,” he said. “We’ve explored putting people on the ground to help as well, but we’ve been limited in capacity until now. Brendan gives us a little more capacity to be able to do that.”

Patrick has repeatedly ruled out a run for president in 2016, but has left the door open for some kind of public service after that.

Ryan isn’t the first Patrick political confidante to go to the PAC. John Walsh, the former head of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, stepped down last year to head up the Together PAC.

Patrick also said Thursday that he expects the life of the PAC to run through the end of this year and perhaps the beginning of 2015.

He said he won’t be endorsing a candidate in the state’s crowded Democratic primary for governor.

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