As Gov. Deval Patrick continues an overhaul of state administrators, Rep. Mike Festa, D-Melrose, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the state Secretary of Elderly Affairs position, the Melrose legislator confirmed last week.

Jennifer Davis Cary of Worcester currently holds the position, and as Patrick continues to purge state positions of Republican appointees, Cary has been mentioned as possibly the next to go. The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported last week that Cary is expected to be moved out of the position, citing a “knowledgeable source outside the administration,” and indicated that Festa may be under consideration to replace Cary.

That apparently caught some in the governor’s office by surprise.

Jose Martinez, spokesman for the governor, said “I don’t know any decision has been made,” and would not comment further on Festa’s candidacy for the position.

Festa said last week that the Telegram and Gazette article “was simply restating a rumor — a very kind one, but a rumor nonetheless.”

“The simple truth is I have not been offered the position,” he said, adding that speculation about him taking the position “really undercuts my ability to do my job well. Absolutely nothing solid or reportable has happened.”

Festa also said the newspaper “never called me.”

“I can be very effective and have been working with the administration in the legislature,” he said. “If something comes up and is offered to me … well, that has not happened. It’s so far removed from what has actually happened yet that it’s pointless to speculate.”

Asked if he plans on running for re-election, Festa said, “I would certainly run for re-election if I weren’t leaving the legislature. This whole idea of me leaving is just speculation. I love my job and I think I’m doing a good job at it … this is an extraordinary opportunity if it were to happen. I’m just laying low right now, waiting to see if that happens.”

Mayor Rob Dolan said he thinks Festa is an “excellent candidate” for the position, and that the representative has distinguished himself in the legislature with his work on elderly affairs.

“I would say unilaterally across the state, if you ask who’s the champion for elderly issues, for people keeping out of nursing homes and in their own homes, for modernizing home care, I think the name Mike Festa would be the first that they would say, and I think that’s the absolute truth,” Dolan said.

The mayor said if Festa were to leave, it would be a “great loss to the community,” but added that the state is at a “critical crossroads” in terms of elderly affairs, with the baby boomer generation entering their senior years.

“Obviously I think if someone is offered a position like this, particularly for Mike, I think it would be very hard to say no to, but he hasn’t been offered it yet,” Dolan said.

Dolan also said he is “absolutely not” considering running for Festa’s seat, were Festa to leave.