DALLAS (Legal Newsline) -- Texas lawmaker Dan Branch is set to officially kick off his campaign for state attorney general next week.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Branch will announce his candidacy for the office at Southern Methodist University's law school Tuesday.

The Morning News reported that Branch sent out an email Thursday inviting supporters to his "special announcement."

Branch, a Republican who represents the "heart of Dallas" in the state House of Representatives, currently serves as chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education, and is a member of the Legislative Budget Board and the Calendars and Pensions committees.

He said in February he was considering a run for the office -- but only if current Attorney General Greg Abbott decided to run for another office.

Branch got his wish. Abbott announced earlier this week he is running for governor, following Gov. Rick Perry's own announcement that he would not seek another term in office.

Also running for the GOP nomination for attorney general is Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman.

Last month, Smitherman said he, too, would not run against Abbott.

Earlier this week, the Morning News reported that former President George W. Bush gave Branch's campaign $5,000 in June.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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