North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will formally begin his 2020 campaign for governor next month at a weekend rally.
Forest's campaign committee says the Aug. 17 event will be held at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.
Forest is a Raleigh architect who was first elected lieutenant governor in 2012. He won re-election four years later and is the highest-ranking GOP executive branch official in North Carolina government since Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's 2016 victory.
Cooper is seeking re-election.
While Forest has been raising campaign money for an expected gubernatorial run, he described his campaign six months ago as an "exploratory committee" for governor. A campaign news release on Tuesday said the "exploratory" language has now been dropped.