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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday that he will “actively explore” the possibility of a presidential run in 2016.

Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and the son of President George H.W. Bush, announced in a Facebook post that he decided to take the step after spending Thanksgiving with his family.

“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” he wrote.

Bush also said that he will establish a leadership PAC -– a political fundraising organization -- in January.

“The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans,” he said.

The preliminary move gives Bush the ability to raise money to dole out to other candidates, although it doesn’t herald a formal candidacy just yet. In past cycles, a handful of candidates – like Republican Haley Barbour and Democrat Evan Bayh -- have made similar moves but ultimately decided not to mount a full-blown bid.

But the announcement will signal to donors that he's getting more serious about a run, which is likely to put pressure on other Republicans jockeying for position.

His presidential pedigree and experience leading a large and diverse state has made him a favorite of GOP establishment heavyweights. But some conservatives take issue with Bush's previous positions on immigration policy and the Common Core education standards.

A November NBC/WSJ poll found that Bush is viewed positively by 26 percent of those surveyed, while 33 percent view him negatively.

- Carrie Dann