UPDATED: Ending days of speculation, Bob Etheridge will officially file for governor Wednesday morning, a spokesman said.
The former Congressman announced his bid for governor earlier this month, but since then rumors swirled that Etheridge wouldn't file candidacy papers amid anemic fundraising and early stumbles. Filing ends Wednesday.
Nonetheless, Etheridge starts as the early favorite. In a hypothetical matchup with Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison, the other two major candidates, Etheridge leads by 6 percentage points with about two in five likely voters still undecided, according to a Public Policy Polling survey from earlier this month.
The only other major candidate still mulling a bid is state Sen. Dan Blue. An announcement on his decision is expected later today.