Report: Newt Gingrich edging toward a run for president

The former House Speaker has been contacting top Republicans in his native Georgia to tell them of his intention to run and to gauge their support for his White House bid.

Newt Gingrich has told several prominent Republicans in the state that he's already scouted office space for a campaign headquarters in Buckhead, an Atlanta neighborhood, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gingrich is now a Virginia resident, but expressed his "fondness" for Atlanta during a visit there on Thursday.

"My offices are here. My grandchildren are here. I'm here regularly," Gingrich told reporters. "I helped create the modern Republican Party in Georgia starting in 1960. I have a certain fondness for being back in Atlanta."

As he canvasses support, Gingrich has met with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and state House Speaker David Ralston, called Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) and asked Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) for a "significant amount" of his time for a meeting, according to the AJC.

Georgia's primary is tentatively slated for February 2012, putting it outside the window of early states. But having a base of support there would certainly help boost Gingrich's bid for the GOP nomination. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the Georgia primary in 2008.

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