Walker to announce 2016 bid on July 13
© Greg Nash

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will file official paperwork to kick off his 2016 GOP presidential bid on Thursday and will announce his campaign later this month, an aide confirmed to The Hill.

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He’ll make his official announcement in Waukesha, Wis., on July 13, the aide added.

Walker is the highest-profile potential Republican candidate who has yet to officially announce a bid. He’s currently in second place in the polls, behind former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.), according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent poll numbers. He currently holds a commanding lead in recent polling of the Iowa caucuses.

His entrance, coupled with Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s announcement on July 21, could finally round out the swelling field of Republican presidential candidates at 16.

Walker’s appeal to both the party’s establishment and its more conservative base has helped him seize the mantle of one of the GOP's initial favorites.

He took office in 2010, only to survive a contentious recall election two years later over his controversial push to limit the collective bargaining rights of state unions. He was reelected to another term in November.

Supporters within the party point to his recent electoral success as proof that he’s battle-tested and able to win over voters in a moderate state. But Democrats warn that his union stance could haunt him in a general election.

— This report was updated at 11:14 a.m.