Updated from 11:05 a.m. EDT with more information regarding Newt Gingrich's decision to run for President of the United States in 2012.



) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to announce his decision to run in the 2012 presidential election on Wednesday.

After forming an

exploratory committee

a few weeks ago, Gingrich has decided to officially seek the Republican nomination and make a bid to unseat President Barack Obama, the incumbent Democrat.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Gingrich, 67, disclosed his bid on social media sites Twitter and Facebook on Monday and told his supporters to watch

Fox News

on Wednesday, where he expects to officially announce his decision to run.

"I will be on to talk about my run for president of the United States," Gingrich said Monday. "I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run."

He will also announce his candidacy via Facebook and Twitter.

His decision to run does not come as much of a surprise. Last week Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, told the

Los Angeles Times

on Thursday that the former House speaker "will be a candidate by the time he arrives" in Georgia on Friday, May 13, to speak to a meeting of state Republicans.

He will be the first prominent Republican to join the race against Obama in 2012.

A few others are expected to follow suit in the coming months, including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

It is still unclear whether potential candidates Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee intend to run.


Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston


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