Pawlenty planned to announce that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee, according to three Republicans who participated in a 15-minute conference call that included Pawlenty's wife, Mary, and two top advisers. The exploratory committee would clear the way for Pawlenty to raise money and hire campaign staff while requiring him to file formal paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
The campaign, the Republicans said, would be based in Minnesota.
The participants in the call spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity in advance of a formal statement from Pawlenty at 3 p.m. EDT. He planned to discuss his political future on the social media site Facebook. The participants said Pawlenty was careful not to identify himself as a formal candidate yet.
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