Former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich is expected to officially announce his presidential candidacy for 2012 Wednesday, according to his Facebook page.

“I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run. Thank you for your support. Be sure to watch Hannity this Wednesday at 9pm ET/8pm CT. I will be on to talk about my run for President of the United States,” said the Facebook message.

Gingrich’s announcement will come a day after fellow potential GOP presidential contender and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, visits Iowa to open a campaign office in Ankeny. Paul participated in last week’s debate in South Carolina, but has yet to officially declare his candidacy for 2012.

Following Paul’s announcement last week that he would visit Iowa, members of his state presidential exploratory committee confirmed a campaign office would be opened and the congressman would introduce newly hired field staff, but chairman Dr. Drew Ivers, of Webster City, stopped short of saying these were signs that a bigger announcement would be made.

Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism in 2009, was slated to visit St. John’s Basilica in downtown Des Moines May 16 to show his documentary Nine Days That Changed the World.  The visit was ultimately canceled by Basilica officials, who were concerned the event would be turned into a more secular, instead of religious, event.

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