ATLANTA — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will officially enter the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, his spokesman Rick Tyler said Monday.
Gingrich will make the announcement through Facebook and Twitter and will give his first interview as a candidate later that day to FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity, Tyler added.
“I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run,” Gingrich said in a Facebook post Monday. “Thank you for your support. Be sure to watch Hannity this Wednesday at 9pm ET/8pm CT. I will be on to talk about my run for President of the United States.”
Gingrich — who represented Georgia’s 6th congressional district for two decades — will headline an economic speech in Washington Friday morning before his public campaign announcement at the Georgia Republican Party state convention in Macon that evening, FOX News reported.
A day later, Gingrich will give the commencement address at central Illinois’ Eureka College — the alma mater of former President Ronald Reagan — and will spend the following week campaigning in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.
In announcing his candidacy, Gingrich will bypass the formation of an exploratory committee — a stepping stone that allows candidates to formally raise money without having to file campaign contribution reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Gingrich had been expected to declare in March that he would form an exploratory committee but the announcement never materialized because he first needed to sever ties with the massive network of advocacy and for-profit groups he began building after leaving Congress in 1999.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that through these groups, Gingrich has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010 — more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined.
Gingrich currently garners 6.8 percent support among Republicans across the US, according to the RealClearPolitcs average of recent national polls.
He trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, real estate mogul Donald Trump, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Among those potential candidates, only Romney and Paul have formed exploratory committees.
FOX News, like NewsCore, is owned by News Corp.
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