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Gingrich 2012_JPEG-0b455.JPGPresidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is bringing his campaign to California later this month.

The former House Speaker has agreed to speak during a Saturday luncheon at the state Republican Party convention, which runs from Feb. 24-26 in Burlingame.

CRP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro praised Gingrich as "one of the most dynamic figures in GOP politics over the last 50 years" in a statement, saying he will bring "energy and vision to the Convention during a critical election year."

Despite recent losses in Nevada and Florida, Gingrich has pledged to continue his campaign against rivals Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul through the national nominating convention. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, holds a lead in the delegate race as Republican voters in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri make their picks today. The next contests will be held in Arizona and Michigan on the Tuesday following the CRP convention.

The party's prospects for attracting a presidential candidate had been uncertain given California's late primary date. Gingrich California Finance Chair Eric Beach said in a statement that the decision "illustrates the importance of California as a key Primary state this election cycle."

CRP spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns said the party has also reached out to other presidential contenders with speaking invitations, but has not heard confirmation either way from the other camps.

Presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Minnesota Rep. and former presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann addressed delegates at the party's fall convention.

Pete Wilson endorses Mitt Romney, to serve as California chairman
Del Beccaro: GOP 'food fight' will help nominee against Obama
Top Rick Perry surrogate in California now backing Newt Gingrich
See all The Bee's Election 2012 coverage

PHOTO CREDIT: Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at The River Church, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


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