9 Things You Didn't Know About Tim Pawlenty

PHOTO: Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty talks to voters at the Des Moines Registers Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 12, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa.

The political world is on high alert as speculation continues that Mitt Romney could announce his pick for vice president as early as this week. ABC News has ranked the contenders, and in the top tier are Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Yesterday we brought you a list of nine things you may not know about Portman. Today, we take a look at the other contender who many believe to be in the top tier: Tim Pawlenty.

1.) He originally wanted to be a dentist, and he enrolled in pre-dentistry at the University of Minnesota, which he discusses in his book, "Courage to Stand."

2.) He's the youngest of five children, and is the only member of his family to have graduated from college.

3.) His mother died from cancer when he was 16 years old.

4.) Pawlenty was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, but later converted to an Evangelical denomination.

5.) He served as vice president of a software company called Wizmo.

6.) He began his political career at age 28, when he was elected to the Eagen City Council

7.) Growing, he says, he was the lone Republican in a liberal family.

8.) He's not overly wealthy -- he has between $470,000 and $1.6 million in assets, according to Open Secrets.

9.) In 2001, while serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives, he pulled a prank and yanked down the pants of then-House speaker Steve Sviggum during a statehouse baseball game.

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