Des Moines Register staff writer Tom Beaumont reports: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans today to file papers with the Federal Election Commission forming an organization to explore seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for president.
Pawlenty aides said the former two-term governor is also expected this week to name staff to lead his preparations for Iowa’s caucuses, and is planning an early April return to the leadoff caucus state.
The Associated Press reported this morning that Pawlenty plans to announce the next step in his investigation of a White House bid at 2 p.m., with an entry on his Facebook page.
Aides also said Pawlenty, who has visited Iowa several times in the past 16 months, is expected to return on April 1 and 2, and is planning a spring campaign announcement.
Pawlenty already has lined up the support of a team of seasoned Iowa campaign operatives. Most recently, West Des Moines consultant Eric Woolson said two weeks ago he would support Pawlenty, should he run for president. Woolson, a top Iowa adviser to winning caucus campaigns in 2008 and 2000, would be expected to fill a senior communication role.
Veteran Iowa Republican operatives Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka have also been Pawlenty advisers, as have former national GOP strategists Terry Nelson and Sara Taylor, both Iowa natives.
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