Paul announcing presidential exploratory committee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Texas Rep. Ron Paul plans to announce the formation of a 2012 presidential exploratory committee at an Iowa event.

Drew Ivers, Paul’s 2008 Iowa caucus campaign manager, says the Republican congressman will announce his plans Tuesday at a Des Moines hotel. An exploratory committee would allow Paul to raise and spend money toward a 2012 candidacy.

Ivers says Paul also plans to name an Iowa campaign team.

Paul finished fifth in the 2008 caucuses and has visited Iowa seven times since. He headlined an event in Sioux Center two weeks ago for a social conservative group, and he spoke at a rally for Christian home-school advocates at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines last month.

Paul is a favorite among libertarians and enjoys strong backing by many tea party supporters.

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