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.
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Congressman Dick Gephardt
- Born in 1941 in the same South St. Louis neighborhood he represents today, Missouri’s 3rd district.
- Graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School.
- Gephardt was first elected to represent Missouri's Third Congressional District in 1976.
- In 1984, Gephardt was elected Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking leadership position in the House.
- In 1989, he was elected by his colleagues in the House to serve as their Majority Leader.
Missouri’s 3rd District
Source: http://dickgephardt.house.gov contributed to this report.