DES MOINES, Iowa — Kim Reynolds has made it semiofficial: She intends to run for governor of Iowa next year.

Reynolds ascended to the governor’s chair from her post as lieutenant governor last month, replacing Terry Branstad after his confirmation as U.S. ambassador to China. She’d been widely expected to run but had yet to make a formal announcement.

A news release from her campaign organization said this Thursday:

“The Governor and Lt. Governor intend to be candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor in 2018. A final decision and formal announcement will be made in the coming months.”

Her running mate would be the state’s acting lieutenant governor, Adam Gregg. She named him to replace her but only in an “acting” capacity in order to avoid any legal fight over her power.