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.
In the first half of last year, other potential candidates Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour and Mitt Romney left prints in the snowy Gopher state.
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:
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