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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Newt Gingrich is heading back to North Carolina to try to rebuild momentum for his Republican presidential campaign that was in danger of getting swept away along with Rick Santorum’s departure from the race.

Gingrich was slated to return Saturday for public events in Charlotte, Greensboro, Wilson and Raleigh. He’ll speak at two “tax day” rallies, the Wilson County Republican Party election-year kickoff and tour the NASCAR Hall of Fame in North Carolina’s largest city.

The former U.S. House speaker from Georgia spent time in Raleigh on Monday and New Bern on Tuesday – the day Santorum announced he was suspending his campaign. Gingrich said he still planned to keep campaigning, although acknowledging Mitt Romney was the GOP’s likely nominee.

The North Carolina Republican presidential primary is May 8.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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