ST. PAUL (AP) -- After this week, Minnesota Republican Tim Pawlenty gets a new title: former governor.

Pawlenty is in the final stretch of his eight years as Minnesota's top official. He hands over the duties on Jan. 3 to Democrat Mark Dayton.

The last few weeks have been quiet for Pawlenty and he expects minimal activity as his tenure winds down. He might some vacancies on state boards and, if needed, sign extradition papers.

Pawlenty is gearing up for a book tour that could precede a full-fledged campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He says an announcement on the possible national bid could come by March.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)