Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty is headed to Iowa, the leading caucus state for the 2012 election, where he will formally declare his run for president.
An adviser close to Pawlenty said Friday that the Midwestern Republican will make the announcement Monday in Iowa, then head to Florida, another key primary state.
Some analysts say Pawlenty has an opportunity to capitalize on the lack of a clear frontrunner in the GOP race.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and businessman Donald Trump recently announced they wouldn't seek a ticket, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's campaign has gotten off to a rocky start.
Pawlenty, 50, often tells his "American story" of humble beginnings, working in a meat-packing plant, losing his mother to cancer, and his father's employment problems.
It's a story that could connect with voters during a still-struggling economy.
"He wasn't born with a silver spoon," said adviser and former chief of staff Charlie Weaver. "He comes from modest means, still does for that matter. He didn't get rich as governor, that's for sure."
Pawlenty also has a Christian background and has been described as a "Minnesota evangelical."
"If the nation turns its back on God or pushes Him out of the equation, we're going to be a much poorer nation for it," he has said.
Pawlenty took the first step to running for president in March when he set up an exploratory committee. He already has campaign offices in several states.