Mitt Romney will formally announce his candidacy for president next week in Michigan, his native state and an important early test for the GOP nomination, campaign aides said Tuesday.
The former one-term Massachusetts governor will make his announcement Feb. 13, and then will visit Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina - the first states to hold 2008 contests. He will return to Boston two days later, where he will hold what his campaign is calling "a unity event" with supporters, aides said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans were not public.
Romney, 58, created an exploratory committee in January and quickly thereafter held a major fundraising event that netted $6.5 million in contributions and pledges to show that he was a serious contender.
It has long been known that he aspired to the presidency. He has spent months building a national campaign organization, hiring top political talent, courting fundraisers and putting support networks in place in key states.
In Dearborn, Mich., Romney will hold what amounts to a made-for-TV coming out event at the Henry Ford Museum in the state where he was born. He has a base of support in that battleground state and long roots there. His father, George Romney, was governor in the 1960s, and also was chief executive of the American Motors Corp. The elder Romney made an unsuccessful bid for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination.