So it begins.
Mark down U.S. Sen. John Thune as the first potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate with a high-profile speaking date in Minnesota.
Minnesota's governor for 10 more days Tim Pawlenty is also considered a possible 2012 candidate and Politico says Thune may be tough competition in Iowa.
Pawlenty is expected to declare his ambitions in March.
Here's the invite to the Thune event:
Here's the Thune invite: