Texas Gov. Rick Perry is all but certain to launch a presidential campaign and is nearing an announcement set for the second half of August, according to sources familiar with his political team’s planning.

Potential donors to Perry’s presidential effort met Tuesday in Austin, and those familiar with what transpired there told RealClearPolitics that key players in Perry’s orbit indicated the 61-year-old Republican will announce a campaign between Aug. 15 and Aug. 31. Perry himself said on Friday that he’ll at least make his intentions known within the next three to four weeks.

While Perry has focused on determining whether he can raise the funds necessary to run a credible campaign, his strategists have begun locking down verbal commitments from vendors and other potential top staff who would fill out a campaign organization. One who was contacted about a senior staff position was told, “This is a 99 percent sure thing.” Another said he was told, “He is 100 percent in.” That wouldn’t seem to leave much margin of error, but a third vendor who was approached said that while Perry’s political circle is lining up a staff, they are doing so without knowing what Perry’s final call will be.

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