He also sent out a news release Wednesday saying he's getting his paperwork in order for a run.
"Getting in now can really have a chilling effect on any other candidate who wants to raise money later on," said Bill Vickery, a Republican strategist.
"Starting out two years early is nothing new and candidates need that time to start filling their war chest, " said Max Brantley, Editor-in-Chief of the Arkansas Times. "You might say it's three weeks too late."
So far, no Republican candidates have tossed their hat into the ring but Brantley said he expects a full field to emerge.
"There's going to be a bloody fight for this," he says. "It'll really be one of those races when there will be a real clear choice."