updated 2/14/2007 7:40:23 PM ET 2007-02-15T00:40:23

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will endorse Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, perhaps as early as the weekend, two officials said Wednesday.

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Kaine, a Democrat who took office last year, has decided to endorse the Illinois senator in his bid for the party nomination, according to two officials with political ties to the governor. They spoke on the condition they not be identified because the decision had not been made public.

Obama will headline the Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraising gala in Richmond on Saturday night, an event Kaine will attend along with Democratic Sen. Jim Webb and former Gov. Mark R. Warner.

Kaine has a strong political relationship with Obama, who traveled to Virginia the last two years to campaign for Kaine’s gubernatorial campaign in 2005 and for Webb last fall.

“He has been real helpful, yeah,” Kaine said at a news conference Wednesday. He would not directly confirm the report but said there would be weekend developments.

“I’m still pondering (it) in deep detail and am likely to make an announcement sometime soon,” Kaine said with a grin. “I think it’s going to be a great day, Saturday, is what I think.”

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