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Pawlenty to announce 'future plans'

Gov. Tim Pawlenty

ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to announce "his future plans" this afternoon, his office has announced.

The news conference is to be in the governor's reception room in the Capitol, which all but rules out an announcement for re-election or other political office. He generally refuses to answer obvious political questions in his office and never holds a political announcement there.

A brief advisory this morning gave no clue to what he plans to say: "Governor Pawlenty will hold a press conference today regarding his future plans."

Debate about the governor's political future has ramped up lately within Minnesota's political community. He is in the third year of his second four-year term and many had speculated he would run for an unprecedented third term. Others, however, expected him to launch a presidential or vice-presidential candidacy.

At the same time, Pawlenty faces chopping the state budget nearly $3 billion after he and Democrats who control the Legislature failed to reach an overall budget deal last month. He plans to announce his plans this month.

The news conference was called for 2 p.m.