Newt Gingrich will formally enter presidential race next week, spokesman says

Washington Bureau

Newt Gingrich will be a candidate for president. That's the word from his spokesman, Rick Tyler, who told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday morning that the former House speaker "will be a candidate by the time he arrives" in Georgia on May 13 to speak to a meeting of state Republicans.

"He will have filed and will be an official candidate," Tyler said.

The longtime aide to Gingrich declined to elaborate further but acknowledged that Gingrich has leased space for a campaign headquarters in Atlanta, where the effort will be based.

Currently, Gingrich is "testing the waters" for a presidential run. He has been raising money for a possible race but has not yet registered as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission.

Gingrich will not be participating in Thursday night's GOP candidates debate in South Carolina, the first of the election cycle.

tom.hamburger@latimes.com

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