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For Gov. Patrick, After Campaign, Renewed Focus

By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is facing the more mundane tasks of state government after helping campaign for President Barack Obama and Democratic Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren during the past year.

Patrick defended Obama on television news shows and urged Democrats to “grow a backbone” at the Democratic National Convention. Then he celebrated Obama’s re-election win with a White House dinner on Friday.

Patrick has also tried to tamp down speculation about what role he might play in a second Obama term, saying he’s committed to serving his final two years as governor.

Patrick has no shortage of challenges facing him at home.

There’s the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a steroid distributed by a Framingham-based compounding center and the testing scandal at a former state drug lab that threatens to unravel thousands of criminal cases.