ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has quit his lobbying job in Washington as he mulls a run to regain the seat he held for two terms.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Pawlenty will step down in March as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade group and lobbying arm for the banking and insurance industries. The group announced without explanation Tuesday that Pawlenty is leaving. The group says he'll be missed.

Pawlenty, who's been reticent about his political plans, recently emailed a select group, inviting them for a gathering Feb. 12 billed as an "important meeting regarding Minnesota's future."

Pawlenty served as governor from 2003 to 2011. Last month he ruled out running for the U.S. Senate seat that Democrat Tina Smith assumed after Sen. Al Franken resigned.

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