Mike Huckabee Says He's Formed an Exploratory Committee for a Presidential Run

The former Arkansas governor will provide details on his official announcement on Fox News Friday night.

Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (National Journal)

Taking another concrete step towards a 2016 presidential run, Mike Huckabee said Friday that he formed an exploratory committee for a bid in early April.

Speaking to a group of reporters in Washington, the former Arkansas governor said that he would give an idea of the timing and location of his official announcement during his 6 p.m. appearance on Fox News tonight.

"I will at least give people an understanding of when there will be an announcement and where," Huckabee said.

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Forming an exploratory committee allows Huckabee to raise money to fund travel and pay staff without formally becoming a presidential candidate. Paperwork hasn't yet been filed for the committee with the Federal Election Commission.

Huckabee insisted he has not made a final decision about the race yet, but he sounded like a candidate during his question-and-answer session with journalists Friday. He highlighted his experience battling "the Clinton political machine" during his Arkansas days, and sketched out a potential path to victory in the first slate of primary contests. Huckabee said he knows how to win Iowa, where he took first in the 2008 caucuses; he called South Carolina a "real good environment for us" and argued that he can be "competitive" in Nevada. He also noted that the group of Southern states planning to hold their primaries on March 1 are "strong states for me."

Huckabee did concede that New Hampshire would be a "tough environment" for his campaign.

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In January, Huckabee left his lucrative post at Fox News to consider a second White House bid. Earlier this week, he also announced that his nationally syndicated radio show would no longer be broadcast starting May 1.