Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich announced he will form an exploratory committee to help decide if he should run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Stevens, who is under a federal investigation.

Begich said at a news conference Wednesday that he will make a final decision well before the June 1 deadline.

He said forming the committee will allow him to raise funds and talk to Alaskans, to see if they think it's time for a change of leadership.

Begich has been courted by the top Democratic leaders to challenge Stevens, who is being investigated over a home remodeling project. Stevens is the nation's longest serving Republican senator.