Herman Cain will soon have a U.S. Secret Service security detail, the agency said Thursday, which would make him the first Republican presidential candidate with such a level of protection.
By law, major presidential candidates and their spouses automatically get Secret Service protection within 120 days of a presidential election. But the secretary of Homeland Security may also grant protective status to other candidates based on recommendations of an advisory committee composed mainly of congressional leaders.
Cain was in New Hampshire on Thursday, without a protective detail. Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, would not say when precisely that would begin but that it would be soon.
He would not say whether there were any specific threats that spurred the decision to grant Cain protected status.
During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama got protective status in May 2007. Hillary Rodham Clinton already had a detail based on her status as a former first lady.
As the sitting Texas governor, Rick Perry travels with a security detail of Texas Rangers. Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner, often travels with one private security officer.