Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman will likely wait until March or April before announcing his political plans, including whether he will run for governor in 2010, a spokesman said Monday.

Republican Coleman has not had a public profile since he conceded defeat in his 2008 race to DFLer Al Franken on June 30, after a protracted court case over the results.

At the time, Coleman indicated he might have a statement about his future after the July 4th holiday, creating speculation that he might run for governor in 2010.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, has announced he will not seek a third term.

Despite the bruising, extended and very close Senate race, a Coleman candidacy for governor would be regarded by potential rivals as formidable, benefitting from high name recognition and statewide fundraising capabilities.

Another possible candidate with statewide name recognition, former Third District U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, recently announced that he would not be a candidate.

But Coleman spokesman Tom Erickson said on Monday that Coleman won't announce whether he will run until March or April. Erickson said that Coleman "just wants some time to not be running for office" after the Senate race stretched out for eight months.

Erickson made the statement after KSTP-TV quoted unnamed sources saying Coleman was indicating he would not be running for governor and was leaning instead toward policy work that might lead to lobbying in Washington.

Even with his established statewide name recognition, if Coleman waited to announce his candidacy into the spring he would lag behind other announced candidates in fundraising and would miss the state's precinct caucuses, which are held in February. The party's state convention also will be held earlier than usual, on April 30 and May 1.

Mark Brunswick • 651-222-1636