When it comes to exploring a run for president, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty counts heavily on the interests of out-of-state residents.

About  58 percent of the nearly $566,000 contributed in the first three months of this year to Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC came from people living outside Minnesota, according FEC records filed Thursday.

The out-of-staters were among those that gave $5,000 each to his PAC. They include investment banker William Strong of Lake Forest, Illinois; William Austin of Dallas, Texas, founder of Starkey Labs; and John Ferguson, Lake Forest, Illinois, who is involved in commercial real estate.

The Unisys Corporation Employees PAC, with offices in Virginia, and the Mid American Energy Company Executive PAC of Des Moines, Iowa, also gave money.

The Freedom First PAC provides Pawlenty with money to use for travel to support other office holders as well as explore his own presidential prospects.


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