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Thompson set to announce candidacy

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Plans are in place for Fred Thompson to announce his entry into the Republican presidential race.

The Associated Press has learned Thompson will officially launch his candidacy on September 6th in a Webcast on his campaign site. Supporters will be watching from house parties around the country.

He'll follow the announcement with a five-day tour of early primary states. There will then be a homecoming event in Tennessee on September 15.

The former senator and "Law & Order" actor has been doing well in the polls, even without an announcement of his candidacy. He's ranked among the top Republicans in national polls and in key states.

He brings to the eight-man Republican field a right-leaning Senate voting record, along with a healthy dose of Hollywood star power.

Thompson is hoping to attract conservatives who haven't been wowed by the current crop of candidates.

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