The chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Josh Walsh announced on Tuesday that he will step down to take over as executive director of Governor Deval Patrick's political action committee, sending reverberations throughout the political world in Massachusetts.

Walsh was Patrick’s campaign manager in 2006, and became chairman of the state Democratic Party once Patrick won the seat.

The announcement renewed speculation about Patrick’s future political ambitions.  At the press conference announcing his resignation, Walsh said he asked the governor if he would run for president in 2016 and Patrick said no. 

Later in the day on Tuesday, Patrick reiterated to a group of reporters that he will not run for president.  And that he has plans to return to the private sector.

"I am not running for president in 2016. I am running our PAC for the next 18 months and possibly beyond. We are working on grassroots, conviction-based politics here in the commonwealth and elsewhere and nobody gets that better than John Walsh."

But Patrick’s actions speak otherwise.  

He’s moving his top political operative, John Walsh to his PAC.  And the pace of his fundraising has accelerated in the past three months.  His PAC raised twice as much in the second quarter of the year as he did in the first quarter.

UMASS Boston Political Science Professor Mo Cunningham sees Walsh’s move as a sign that Patrick is eyeing higher office. 

“I think he’s very seriously keeping his options open. That he’s looking toward 2016," he said. 

I’d be very surprised if John Walsh isn’t carefully looking at the political situation in new Hampshire, iowa and other places.”

Patrick formed the Together PAC in 2011 to help pay for his travels on behalf of President Barack Obama’s re-election effort.  Now the election is over and the Pac is still around. Patrick said he is repurposing the PAC to support grassroots organizing and other Democratic candidates.