Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has announced the creation of an exploratory committee for the governorship, a first step in formally running for office.

On Monday, Jan. 28, Forest posted a video on social media announcing his plans to run for governor in 2020. The video highlights themes of unity and of valuing the individual — rather than pitting groups against one another.

An exploratory committee is a common tactic used to determine whether a potential candidate should run for office by testing the waters with political polls.

Forest, a Republican, was elected lieutenant governor in 2012. His campaigns have featured visits to all 100 North Carolina counties and a strong grass-roots organization.

Much of his time in office has been focused on education and school choice. As lieutenant governor, Forest also sits on the State Board of Education; he chairs the Special Committee on Digital Technology.