WASHINGTON — Tim Pawlenty will make a “major announcement” regarding his future this afternoon, likely to say formally that he’s exploring a run for president.
“Governor Pawlenty will have a major announcement exclusive to supporters on Facebook at 3 pm ET today,” said Alex Conant, Pawlenty’s PAC spokesman, in a brief statement to reporters this morning. That’s 2 p.m. in Minnesota.
The announcement will come via Pawlenty’s Facebook page.
The Associated Press, which first reported the move, said Pawlenty will create a presidential exploratory committee. If, as expected, he files with the Federal Elections Committee to form an exploratory committee, Pawlenty would be the first major presidential contender to do so.
Pawlenty has long been mentioned as a likely presidential candidate, and has already built a network of likely staffers either affiliated with his PAC formally or waiting in the wings to jump on board. He has taken several visits to early primary and caucus states, and thus questions surrounding this announcement came began with the word “when,” not “if.”
The only other candidate who has traceable national support to have taken this step is Herman Cain, a Tea Party-affiliated talk radio host and the former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain.