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Departing House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri has decided to kick off his second run for the White House in 14 years by forming a presidential exploratory committee, The Associated Press has learned.
An invitation obtained by the AP says Gephardt will raise money for the exploratory committee at an event Jan. 22, asking for donations of at least $1,000 or half the maximum for presidential candidates.
"Join us for a reception benefiting Richard Gephardt for President Exploratory Committee," the invitation said.
A source close to Gephardt, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, confirmed Thursday night that the Missouri Democrat has decided to form the exploratory committee in the next few days.
Gephardt is stepping aside after eight years as the Democratic House leader and will bank on a strong national organization and close ties to traditional Democratic groups like organized labor to help him in his presidential bid.
Extended Web Coverage
Congressman Dick Gephardt
Missouri’s 3rd District
Source: http://dickgephardt.house.gov contributed to this report.