WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson will officially announce his candidacy for president on the Web next Thursday, September 6, sources working on the actor's formal entry into the race told CNN Thursday.
The announcement video will be posted at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday at www.imwithfred.com.
The sources said Thompson would travel and campaign in key primary states following the Internet announcement.
The Web announcement will not take place before Wednesday's GOP debate in New Hampshire, the sources said, adding they did not expect Thompson to attend.
Early this week, the New Hampshire Union-Leader called on Thompson to attend the debate.
"If Thompson announces before the debate, New Hampshire voters will expect him to be at the University of New Hampshire with the other announced candidates," the newspaper said. "A no-show will be counted here as a snub.
"If Thompson waits until after the debate to make his announcement, it will appear to some as if he timed the announcement just to avoid the New Hampshire debate. That would give his foes the chance to say he is either not serious about running for the nomination or is too unprepared to be considered a credible candidate."
Thompson created a fundraising committee that allowed him to begin raising money for a possible presidential campaign on June 1.
An actor best known for his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch in NBC's "Law & Order," Thompson was elected to the Senate in 1994 and served there for eight years.
– CNN's John King and Candy Crowley