Romney, Gingrich, Paul Headed to Pa.

April 24 primary draws Republican presidential hopefuls

The Republican candidates for president are coming to Pennsylvania next week for the state primary campaign's home stretch, with Mitt Romney the party's all-but-certain presidential nominee.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign earlier this week after falling well behind Romney in delegates and money, and state GOP leaders said it was the right thing to do.

Ron Paul's campaign said the Texas congressman will appear at a town hall meeting next Friday in Pittsburgh, the city where he was born.

On Monday night former Massachusetts governor Romney will address the Tri-State Tea Party Caucus at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The influential Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, with members in Pa., NJ and Del., formally endorsed Romney back in January.

On Tuesday evening, Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia were scheduled to speak at a Lancaster County Republican dinner.

President Barack Obama is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

The primary is April 24, the same day as the Delaware Presidential primary and primaries in New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

In expectation of a primary fight against Santorum, Romney's campaign and a pro-Romney Super PAC, called Restore Our Future, had begun running TV ads in Pennsylvania. But those were canceled after the former senator dropped out, Republican state party officials said.

The primary in Pennsylvania is far less important than the state's likely role as one of the nation's biggest battleground states this fall.

Harry Truman in 1948 was the last Democratic presidential candidate to lose Pennsylvania but win the election, and the last Republican to win Pennsylvania was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

With the Republican nomination expected to be his, Romney can campaign with an eye toward winning hearts in the general election against Obama.

“For my money, we are in the campaign now for president,” said Republican Party state chairman Rob Gleason.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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