Rick Santorum returns to where he first struck political gold to officially announce what everyone already knows -- he's running for president.

Santorum will make his announcement June 6 somewhere in western Pennsylvania, a source close to the Santorum campaign confirmed.

He will do so "near where his grandfather worked in the coal mines after he came here from Italy," a spokesman said. "This location is significant because when Sen. Santorum's grandfather left fascist Italy, he came to this country for America's freedom and the opportunity our nation afforded him."

The former Pennsylvania senator defeated a seven-term Democrat in 1990 to represent the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh in the U.S. House. He then defeated another Democratic incumbent four years later to win his U.S. Senate seat. But he suffered an 18-point loss to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006.

Santorum will join Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and Tim Pawlenty as an official Republican candidate.

colby.itkowitz@mcall.com