Thursday, 4:30 PM
Romney files election papers to create presidential committee
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
Governor Mitt Romney took a major step toward officially announcing a run for the White House and filed paperwork this afternoon to form a presidential exploratory committee.
"After talking to my family, I have decided to take this initial step of forming an exploratory committee in order to raise the resources and build the campaign organization required to pursue the highest office in our country," Romney said in a statement posted on his new website www.mittromney.com. "I look forward to continuing to talk with the American people to determine how best we can meet a new generation of challenges."
According to the website, attorney Ben Ginsberg filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission at 4 p.m. The formation of an exploratory committee allows a potential candidate to raise and spend money for a presidential run.
Romney, 59, has been widely seen as a likely candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. In 2006, he spent more than 212 days out of Massachusetts in what many saw as a preparation for a run for the White House.
Romney, who served one term, is leaving office this evening. He said in the release posted on his website that he "has not made a decision on when he will officially and formally declare his candidacy."
The name of the new committee is Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. The governor's new website includes biographies of him and his wife Ann; his stance on issues from immigration to "Affirming America's Culture and Values;" and a video section called "Mitt TV."
Other Republicans who have formed exploratory committees include former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Arizona Senator John McCain, and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.
Democrats who have taken the same step include Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards announced his official candidacy last week.