Stepping closer to becoming the Republican Party’s standard bearer, Mitt Romney will address GOP state party chairmen Friday at a meeting of the Republican National Committee in Arizona.

Romney, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will speak to the party chairs, who will become important partners in running ground operations in key swing states in this fall’s general election. Romney will speak to the group Friday during the RNC’s three-day meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to a Romney campaign official.

Romney will not officially clinch the nomination until he amasses at least 1,144 delegates. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said on CNN on Sunday that the party has not officially declared a presumptive nominee yet “out of respect” for the two remaining candidates, Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) and former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

But Romney has begun taking the steps expected of a presumptive nominee, such as collecting donations for a joint campaign-RNC Victory fundraising committee.