Pennsylvania Republican leaders and several U.S. representatives will announce their support for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign today in Harrisburg.
Those expected to endorse the former Massachusetts governor include Allegheny County Republican Chairman Jim Roddey and U.S. Reps. Bill Shuster of Hollidaysburg, Charlie Dent of the Lehigh Valley and Jim Gerlach of Berks County.
The Romney campaign said his supporters -- which also include Republican National Committee member Bob Asher and Independence Hall Tea Party leader Don Adams -- would address former Sen. Rick Santorum's nearly impossible challenge in the race to snag the 1,144 delegates need to clinch the GOP nomination.
"Governor Romney is best suited to fix our economy," Gerlach said. "Pennsylvanians want a leader in the White House that will have a bold plan to create jobs, bring home energy security, and right our country's financial ship. Governor Romney is that leader."
Dent said hardworking taxpayers across the state and the country were looking for someone who will fight for them, and Romney is the one candidate who will give them that shot.
A press conference to announce the endorsement will be at the East Rotunda at the state capitol at 2 p.m.
Santorum last ran for office in Pennsylvania in 2006, when he lost his seat to challenger Bob Casey, a Scranton Democrat up for re-election this year.
No member of Santorum's former congressional delegation has endorsed him, nor has any statewide elected official, including Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Sen. Pat Toomey, whom Santorum worked against in his bid to best Arlen Specter in a Republican primary in 2004.
His only endorsements in the state came from Republican Reps. Lou Barletta and Tom Marino of northeast Pennsylvania and from 15 state senators.
Santorum and fellow candidates Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul can all call Pennsylvania a home state. Santorum grew up in the Butler area. Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker, grew up outside of Harrisburg and Paul, a congressman from Texas, grew up in Green Tree.
Pennsylvania will hold its primary on April 24. Seventy-two delegates are at stake.
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