Jim Gilmore, Virginia's former tax-slashing Republican governor, on Tuesday took the first step in a long-shot bid for the presidency.

Gilmore filed papers with the Federal Election Commission in Washington to form the Jim Gilmore for President Exploratory Committee, said his aide, Matt Williams.

Citing the absence of what he considered a true conservative, Gilmore said in interviews last month that he would assess his own chances for a presidential run.

Gilmore was elected governor in 1997 promising to cut the property tax that local governments in Virginia levy on personal cars and pickup trucks.