This from the L.A. TIMES:
Republican Fred Thompson will formally announce his long-anticipated presidential candidacy on a webcast next Thursday, he and his top aides told supporters wired into a conference call today.
The Times' Joe Mathews reports that the call also revealed that after the webcast airs and Thompson files the necessary paperwork with federal election officials, he will travel to the key early states in the nomination battle: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. And he will conclude his opening tour with a stop in his hometown of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on Sept. 15.
Mathews was told that during the call, which was not open to reporters, no mention was made of an effort to schedule a Thompson appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" next Wednesday -- the same night of a Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire. But Mathews reports that sources close to Thompson say negotiations between the campaign and NBC remain in the works.
On the money front, Thompson's backers were told that he has raised about $6 million -- far less than the two leading contenders in the GOP race, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Not surprisingly, Thompson plans to focus on picking up his fundraising pace.
-- Don Frederick
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