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(Reuters) – Republican Senator Ted Cruz plans to announce on Monday that he will run for president in 2016, the Houston Chronicle reported on its website.
The newspaper, citing senior advisers to the Texas senator who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported that Cruz would launch a presidential bid outright rather than the traditional path of forming an exploratory committee.
He would become the first Republican presidential candidate to announce a run for the 2016 election.
Cruz, a leading conservative who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, is slated to make a speech on Monday at Liberty University in Virginia. “You’re going to want to be there,” a member of Cruz’ staff told the Daily Beast web site but declined to reveal the specific nature of the address.
Last weekend the first-term Texas senator was in New Hampshire, a state crucial to presidential aspirants because of its early primary. Also there were other potential candidates: Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida; former Texas governor Rick Perry; and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Cruz has also spent time in Iowa, another key early state.
In an interview on MSNBC last week, Cruz said he had been getting “very encouraging” support regarding a presidential run.
Liberty University, an evangelical Christian school, was established by the late conservative evangelist Jerry Falwell.
Cruz would aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million over the course of the primary campaign, the Chronicle reported.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Paul Tait