Gov. James E. McGreevey (search) plans to endorse Howard Dean (search) for president and has asked state Democrats to begin campaigning for the former Vermont governor, state Democratic sources told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The sources said McGreevey will make a public announcement on Friday.

McGreevey had planned to meet with Wesley Clark (search) this week, but that meeting was canceled.

"The governor will make an endorsement when he feels its appropriate," spokesman Micah Rasmussen said Tuesday.

A spokesman for Dean did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Democratic lawmakers and other sources speaking on condition of anonymity said they learned of McGreevey's decision Monday.

McGreevey will ask all party leaders and county Democratic chairmen to back Dean, sources said.

The decision came after Dean and McGreevey met earlier this month, sources said.

McGreevey has met with Dean, Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. John Kerry, of Massachusetts, Rasmussen said.