WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is expected to take a formal step on Monday toward a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 when he sets up an exploratory committee.
An aide said Pawlenty planned to announce the step on his Facebook page on Monday afternoon.
Pawlenty, a conservative, has been traveling to early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to build support.
Forming a presidential exploratory committee allows Pawlenty to raise money and hire more staff and means he is all-but-certain to run for the Republican nomination in 2012 for the right to battle President Barack Obama.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, Editing by Sandra Maler)