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Republican Ron Paul to explore presidential run


US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 11, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 11, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Representative Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2008, said on Monday he will form an exploratory committee to consider pursuing the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

The Texas congressman confirmed to Fox News Channel that he would formally announce his plans on Tuesday in Iowa.

"We're going to announce that I'm going to start an exploratory committee ... I'll stop by in Iowa on my way home, and that might lead to the next decision," said Paul, who has been on a book tour.

Other Republicans who have taken the formal step toward challenging Democratic President Barack Obama in his re-election bid include former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

In the 2008 race, Paul campaigned as an anti-war libertarian. A Houston-area physician, Paul was the only contender to remain in the Republican race after Arizona Senator John McCain clinched the party's nomination.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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