Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will announce Monday he is running for the Republican nomination for president, a close aide of the lawmaker confirmed to NPR following a report first published by The Houston Chronicle.
Ultra-conservative Cruz, who has quickly risen to prominence in recent years with firebrand tactics that have fired up the GOP's tea-party base, will make his run official during a speech at Liberty University, the evangelical Christian college in Lynchburg, Va., founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. He would be the first Republican to officially declare.
NPR's Domenico Montanaro has confirmed that Cruz will announce on Monday.
Unlike some of his potential Republican challengers, Cruz will bypass an exploratory committee and launch directly into the campaign, the Chronicle says.
The newspaper reports: "Over the course of the primary campaign, Cruz will aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million, according to advisers, and dominate with the same tea party voters who supported his underdog Senate campaign in 2012. But the key to victory, Cruz advisers believe, is to be the second choice of enough voters in the party's libertarian and social conservative wings to cobble together a coalition to defeat the chosen candidate of the Republican establishment."
The New York Times adds:
"Mr. Cruz will be effectively firing the starting gun on the Republican primary, which has been dominated so far by the early exploratory maneuvers of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor; Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky; and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
"Mr. Rubio and Mr. Paul are said to be planning to enter the race next month, meaning that Mr. Cruz is looking to leap ahead and define himself as much as possible."