updated 1/5/2007 6:17:59 PM ET 2007-01-05T23:17:59

Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican and favorite son of the religious right, will officially enter the presidential race later this month in his home state.

“He will be fully announcing on Jan. 20 in Topeka, Kan.,” Brian Hart, the senator's spokesman, said Friday. The move was expected even though Brownback set up an exploratory committee in December to gauge whether he had enough support for a full-blown campaign.

After the announcement in Kansas, Hart said Brownback will fly to Washington to participate in the anti-abortion march marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling.

Brownback is a lesser-known candidate in a crowded GOP presidential field that likely will include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, rounds out the top tier. All three are considering runs but, to various extents, also have records or positions on social or fiscal issues that don't sit well with the Republican base.

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