Jim Gilmore, a tax-slashing former Virginia governor, announced he will explore a presidential bid in 2008.
"I am not someone who has to evolve as a conservative. I don't have to evolve my position," he said.
Gilmore was easily elected governor in 1997 on a promise to cut the despised property tax local governments assess on personal cars and pickup trucks. He served one term and could not seek re-election because Virginia uniquely bars successive terms for its governors.