Republican Tim Pawlenty is going to officially declare his run for Minnesota governor, making him the latest high-profile business executive to make a push for political office, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
Pawlenty is expected to announce his run Thursday afternoon, according to the sources, who declined to be named.
Pawlenty, who had already served two terms as Minnesota’s governor, will be trying to flip a seat that’s been held by Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton for the past seven years. Dayton isn’t running for a third term.
A spokesman for Pawlenty declined to comment while a spokesperson for Dayton did not return calls for comment at the time of publication. In February, Pawlenty resigned his role as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a powerful lobbying organization that works with some of the top Wall Street banks. Pawlenty was widely expected to run in the Minnesota race.
The former 2012 GOP presidential candidate brings years of political experience, name recognition and a potential donor war chest to a governor’s race that has only a few declared candidates, many of them from the state legislature.
Pawlenty previously was governor of the state from 2003 to 2011. Although he failed to capture the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, he became a co-chairman of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign against then-President Barack Obama.
Pawlenty then went on to lead the roundtable, whose members include American Express, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. He resigned from the post in February as rumors swirled that he would be going back to running for public office.